Bao House by
dot Architects


This mobile home by Chinese studio dot Architects consists of a quilted cube attached to the back of a tricycle.

Bao House by dot Architects

At first glance the facade could be mistaken for padded fabric, but the two-metre-wide structure is actually made from spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which dot Architects injected into a timber and fabric mould held together with pins and string.

Bao House by dot Architects

"SPF is normally concealed behind the finishing surface and functions only as supplementary material," explains principal designer Ning Duo. "Bao House tries to explore this common material and reinterpret it in a new fabrication system."

Bao House by dot Architects

The foam expanded as it set, so that when the moulds were removed they revealed a bulbous lightweight structure that is both water-resistant and thermally insulated.

Bao House by dot Architects

"Bao House gets its name from this bubble-like surface, since 'bao' in Chinese means bulge," says Duo.

Bao House by dot Architects

The architects created the structure for Get It Louder 2012, an exhibition of visual art and design at the Sanlitun Village shopping centre in Beijing, after being asked to design a mobile living space that is human-powered.

Bao House by dot Architects

A roof of transparent polycarbonate lets light inside the shelter, where a mattress covers the floor to allow enough sleeping space for up to three people.

Bao House by dot Architects

There's no door, but one of the walls slides open to let residents climb in.

Bao House by dot Architects

We've featured a few mobile homes on Dezeen, including a refuge in the Alps and a tiny floating house.

Bao House by dot Architects

See more mobile architecture, including a masterplan of buildings on railway tracks and a hotel room you can have delivered.

Bao House by dot Architects

Photography is by Yuming Baia and Vanessa Chen.

Bao House by dot Architects

  • @RobertAaronCo

    Looks safe and aerodynamic. If you manage to survive the day despite not being able to see past 180 degrees it looks like it might be cosy.

  • Red Pill Junkie

    For the globe-trotting grannie.

  • www

    Worse than getting stuck behind a white van.

  • Tony

    Could we please have more than a tiny peek at the inside? It’s so frustrating and a bad habit in many stories to only show the outsides of dwellings.

  • lulu

    How do you breathe inside this? It’s just a freaking box on a bike.

  • James

    How can you have something called a “home” that is just a box? I mean it doesn’t have any facilities such as a toilet.

  • Concerned Citizen

    So, instead of having a living space, the theme now is just to exist, as in a Petri dish?