Ten Fold Engineering Thinks Outside the Box

©. Ten Fold Engineering

Why move a lot of air when you can have a building unfold and grow into anything you want?

One of the problems with shipping container architecture is that one is shipping a lot of air. If you are building a temporary structure those shipping costs can add up.


When I was in architecture school and was playing with the idea of temporary buildings made from shipping containers, walls folded out into floors and ceilings and even beds. That meant that when you shipped the box, it was full and folded out to make a building 5 times the area of the original box, all delivered on one truck. When shipping container architecture hit the scene a few decades later, nobody bothered with this approach; containers were cheap, and building all that folding stuff is expensive.

10 fold plan

© Ten Fold Engineering

But transportation is expensive too, and if you are going to move something a lot, you want to minimize the number of boxes. Now Ten Fold Engineering has developed a box that folds out into a house, store, clinic or whatever use you can think of, using a proprietary lever system that can also be used for many different uses; you name it, Ten Fold has rendered it.

According to Forbes, it was developed by David Martyn, an architect who has been building luxury homes that are stuck in the ground, but we have not always lived like that.

"We wanted to do something new, but at the same time, we wanted to challenge people to think differently about structures," added Martyn. "We live in houses that are stuck in the ground. We aren’t a nomadic culture anymore, so this is a new concept based on a modern interpretation of nomadism as it relates to the global economy."

The design is ingenious, and the concept makes total sense for high-end temporary uses. It’s also expensive, starting at 100,000 pounds. It will be interesting to see how the designers cope with waterproofing and all the other issues of moving parts; there are a lot of complicated connections here. But they have done it. They have built the box that unfolds to five times its size in a matter of minutes. It is a dream I have personally had for decades, finally come to fruition. I am very impressed.

This video shows some of the other ways they imagine using their lever technology; give these guys a lever long enough and they will move the world.