©Kengo Kuma & Associates

Italy 2008Casa Umbrella


This project started under the condition of suggesting a new kind of a ‘temporary house’. What we planed considering the ease of construction and building was to utilize materials, which are commonly distributed in markets. The product we have selected, an ‘umbrella’, has been developed and improved to be light weight, easy to carry by folding, and above all, in effectively keeps off the rain. We thought that we can produce a new product, a new kind of architecture by putting them up in three dimensional way.

This “Casa Umbrella” is composed of each triangle on a regular icosahedron replaced by an umbrella. A triangle created by the bones by an umbrella is utilized as a truss structure, and every single detail is adapting the detail of a common umbrella. The connection detail of the umbrellas is the water cut-off fasteners used for a diving suit, therefore you can produce a new space in an open space, by simply opening the umbrella, fastening the zipper. The size of the umbrella is defined based on the intended spaces to be created- for example, a few umbrellas can produce a small roof or a partition, while 15 umbrellas can create a shelter.

The material of the umbrella surface is a polyethylene non-woven fabric called ‘Tyvek’ produced by DuPont, which has an outstanding quality in water proofing and moisture proofing that is easy to sew as it also goes well together with zipper. In a rainy day, it becomes a rain shelter. In a fine day, it becomes a small arbor by opening a zipper to bring in a natural light and a gentle breeze. “Casa Umbrella” becomes to be a ‘temporary house’ of new days.

Publication Shinkenchiku 2010/08 Photography ©︎ KKAA