Wikkelhouse – A Prefab Modular Home Made of Cardboard

Pritzker Prize winning architect, Shigeru Ban, helped to bring the cardboard to the forefront of design by incorporating it into applications beyond packaging. Now, Amsterdam-based collective, Fiction Factory, has created a modular housing design that’s composed largely of cardboard.


Wikkelhouse - Fiction Factory - Amsterdam - Exterior - Humble Homes

The project has been dubbed Wikkelhouse, which translates as Wrap House. The completed prototype is made up of a series of interlocking cardboard components that each weight about 500 kilograms. Each component has a width of 3.9 feet (1.2 meters), and allows the designers to easily adjust the overall length of the structure.


Wikkelhouse - Fiction Factory - Amsterdam - Kitchen Dining Area - Humble Homes

The shell is composed of 24 layers of cardboard, that’s moulded into the house shape, and bonded with an environmentally friendly superglue. From the designers: “Using cardboard as its main building material, Wikkelhouse is a cutting-edge sustainable house with a beautiful design and exceptional constructive strength.”


Wikkelhouse - Fiction Factory - Amsterdam - Wood Burning Stove - Humble Homes

The modularity of the design also makes it easy to transport. The exterior is finished in a waterproof membrane, over which timber siding is fastened. Apparently its lightweight design allows it to be installed without a foundation. However, it does look to be set on some sort of concrete plinth.

Wikkelhouse - Fiction Factory - Amsterdam - Bedroom - Humble Homes

Depending on your needs, you can add on a kitchen, shower, or bathroom. In terms of longevity, the structure is designed to last at least 50 years, after which it can be recycled: “It is as much as three times more durable than traditional construction and has an expected life of at least 50 years.”

Wikkelhouse - Fiction Factory - Amsterdam - Exterior with Deck - Humble Homes

Intended use for the Wikkelhouse ranges from a getaway cabins and home offices, to disaster relief housing.

For prefab houses check out Mima Light, a minimalist home with a tiny footprint. Or, Cocoon9’s luxurious prefab micro homes. See all prefab.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Fiction Factory

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. “Made out of cardboard?” people ask. Yes folks it has been done before.

    In Christchurch, New Zealand they built a temporary Cathedral after the gorgeous building that they had was munted by the 2011 earthquake. Made of cardboard tubes that are sealed for watertightness. Not sure but I’d hazard a guess that they used epoxy resin for the sealant.