Carter Williamson Architects


GRID, a sustainable housing prototype named after the Norse goddess of peace, can be assembled quickly and transported cheaply to diverse and remote locations.

GRID was originally conceived as a response to the tsunami in Banda Aceh. The strategy was to devise both an ‘ideal’ and a ‘re-use’ system that could operate interchangeably; in disaster zones the materials would comprise materials retrieved from debris. In less compromised circumstances, the shelters, pre-fabricated off-site, can be transported ‘flat-packed’ by either road or rail to remote communities.

GRID houses eight to ten people with a mezzanine level for sleeping and privacy. In community contexts, GRID can be configured to respond to the specific contextual and administrative requirements of family, culture or work. GRID is able to operate using either local municipal services or independently off-grid. The ultra-fit, fully insulated, steel-frame structure utilises photovoltaic cells and a roof-mounted solar hot water system; rainwater tanks collect roof water; and barn-door windows ensure the building is thoroughly ventilated. Sanitary amenities, comprising a composting toilet system and a shower along with gas bottles for cooking, are located on two external perforated metal decks.

Photography by: Brett Boardman