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California Roll House

California Roll House


California Roll House, 2011

At times, the simplest form with least manipulation from its original form can offer visual amenities and adapted solution to the context. California Roll prefabricated house takes this methodology to create its morphological adaptation to its environment: desert. Homogeneous exterior material which provides high grade of energy efficiency and reflects heat from the sun covers the entire surface except for glass panels which is electronically controlled to change its transparency.
Modularization of every structure members and finish materials are maximized to provide mobility with rapid assembly and disassembly on site.

To sustain its challenging structural stand, carbon fibre truss frame underneath the exterior material holds the entire architecture. Hydraulic powered automatic doors and security system is used for main entrance door which allows less space to operate the door mechanism. California Roll house features these latest technologies applied to architecture which breaks the boundary of product or vehicle design and architectural design which brings more mobility to living spaces.


Plain surface on the ground extended from exterior surface provides paved area for outdoor activities which requires flat and artificial surface different from desert sand surface. As well as surface on the ground, inside of exterior shell is covered with fibre reinforced plastic panels.


Ground Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan

Second Floor Interior View

Modularized skylights and windows along the exterior surface can be placed at desired location to light its interior space to meet resident’s requirement from his own usage of the space.
Passive and subtle control of privacy of bedroom area is provided by curtain divider and bookshelf with translucent midpart. These parts allow the residents to have sense of privacy by delicate visual hints over as well as providing lights through.
Overall, the privacy in California Roll is controlled rather passively with resident’s awareness than tight blocking of spaces in-between.

Click below thumbnails to enlarge


Long Section A

Long Section B

Cross Section

Automatic main door mechanism diagram

Since the main entrance is on the sloped wall, the door mechanism should be designed in unconventional way. Adopting ideas from automotive design industry, hydraulic powered automatic door controlled by number lock panel is installed on the sloped wall as main entrance to minimize the space required for operation to avoid contact with user while in operation. When the door is fully open, the clearance height is up to 2 meters.
The door opens into two pieces, the upper piece lifts up over head, and the lower piece unfolds onto the floor for visitors to step on. When the door is completely closed, the material on the outside of door continues with the material of the exterior surface to achieve conformity and hide the entrance.

Categorised as: Architecture


  1. Bill Weaver says:

    Can the California Roll House be visited?

  2. Bill Weaver says:

    PS Connect with Facebook does not work. A loop occurs: after posting, a message appears saying to go back and fill in the password, but seconds after going back the password field disappears as it recognizes you’re logged in with Facebook. After posting again same message appears.

  3. Hi Bill,
    The California Roll House is only a concept design.
    Thanks for letting me know about Facebook Connect problem. it was a conflict between Facebook Connect and Anti-spam function. I think it should work now.

    – Chris

    • emilie trice says:

      Hi, I am writing a short article on the California Roll House for SOMA Mag (www.somamagazine.com) and need 3-5 high res images for print…can you please send them to me at my email address as listed on this form?
      Please let me know if this is possible. We really need them by Monday.
      Many thanks!


  4. Adam Sprague says:

    Hello, I’m an Engineering Technology Management student at Texas A&M Commerce and I’m researching the Roll House for a project on BIM in modern structures for my Auto Cad class. can you tell me about the philosophy in the design and what tools you used to design such a radical form.thank you.

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  7. Dear sir, madam,

    A. Schulman, Inc. is one of the leading global compounders of plastic raw materials. (www.aschulman.com)

    The company specializes in color concentrates and solutions for high-end markets with an extensive global footprint and technology expertise to serve a wide range of industries.

    Be Color! is A. Schulman’s annual color & technology trends program. The company is about to launch its fourth Be Color! trend program for the upcoming consumer trends in 2018/2019.

    In collaboration with independent industrial designers we have identified photos to feature the 2018/2019 color & technology trends program.

    Our trend and design program will be used to present the major trends influencing customer behavior to renowned OEMs and brand owners in face-to-face meetings. We also present the program in customer seminars with selected audience consisting of heads of design, marketing and/or R&D departments.

    The main communication tool of the program will consist of a high-end look book which will be produced in a limited production of 150 pieces.

    In order to feature the trends, we have identified the third photo (above), we would like to use in our program. According to our sources you own the intellectual property rights for this photo.

    Please let us know if you grant us with the permission to use your photo in our trend program?

    Kindly let us know should you have any conditions for the use of the photo. The resolution should be high enough to have it printed in our trends program book (a few Mbyte/300 dpi min.)

    We are looking forward to your reply. Due to production constraints we kindly request your information by March 1st.
    Thank you so much for your collaboration!
    Kind regards,

    Larissa Stegmann
    A. Schulman International Services

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