BURST*008 was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art and built there for the exhibition Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling. Built in 10 weeks, 4 off-site and 6 on-site, the Home Delivery project demanded an evolution of the award winning project, BURST*003. At MoMA, the BURST* name took on more than its original semantic origin, derived from the surface-applied “sunburst” flower graphic, to become a skylight and, more significantly, to become a means of delivery in which the structural ribs literally burst open on site before being lowered onto the structural moment frames that connect the house to the ground. Additional project evolutions in BURST*008 include a prefabricated structural insulated panel (SIP) skin system that provides a highly insulated architectural structure.

BURST* is a prefabricated system of housing that uses sophisticated digital design tools to create a highly customizable, simple-to-assemble, environmentally conscious house. The system is adaptable and responsive to various sites, climates, owners, and programs using an algorithm to generate the form based on specific conditions like angle of summer sun and number of inhabitants. An alternative to mass-produced versions of domestic life that reduce prefab houses to differing arrangements of boxes, each BURST* has the potential for unique spaces, expanding the range of architectural form for domestic and inexpensive construction. The system functions like a kit of parts to produce homes that use small building pieces to achieve individually tailored spaces.

Made of plywood, steel and glass, the house is raised off the ground and uses strategically placed vents and overhangs in order to maximize natural heating and cooling systems and minimize environmental impact, using only passive means to maintain temperature comfort levels. The flexibility of the house derives from literally weaving two sections together- the natural ground plane and an artificial, manipulated plane. These two planes travel vertically and horizontally to comprise the ground, the floor and the walls. Depending on specific conditions for an individual house, the weave can open, close and reshape in order to allow or prevent warming sun and cooling breezes into the house.

The house’s structural system is a tensile structure, similar to a kite or an airplane wing. The interweaving ribs and SIPs are locked into place, and thus made structural, by the skin pieces. This tension system is both high-strength and lightweight, making transport to the site low impact and assembly easy to follow as the pieces pop into each other. Because the bulk of the construction process is achieved digitally, sizing and fitting issues are resolved before being cut and numbered and bursting onto site, helping to ensure less than 5% waste.