Bentohouse

2010
Bits and Pieces Exercise

University Of Waterloo
Tiny Living is larger than life

Bits and Pieces was the name of a project intended to design a small scale, prefabricated housing pod placed somewhere in the midst of downtown Galt. Given three specific sites, this proposal landed on a small island in the midst of a railway bridge.

Bento (べんとう) is a single portion meal, either homemade or purchased. It is a common Japanese meal typically eaten for lunch, popular amongst workers and students. The Bentohouse is inspired by said Japanese lunchbox. This structure seeks to utilise the organisation and compartmentalisation these containers possess.

As mentioned, the Bentohouse is located on a small isola under the footing of a railway bridge across the Grand River. Fabrication for Bentohouse is off site. Once completed, transportation of the small house is in one piece. The site is in a sense, a bento itself, organised as a series of compartmentalised cells open for expansion. More ‘bentohouses’, one built for guests, for production, for work, or even entertainment can be added to site as one so pleases; the expansion strategy creates a ‘bento within a bento’.

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Bentohouse hoped to create a vision of living in a mere sixteen square meters. Not designed as a permanent residence, the exercise was a glimpse into an alternative to large scale living many is already accustomed.

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© Dennis Tang 2017