P.A.T.H. House by Philippe Starck
“After years of intense technological development, Philippe Starck and the Slovenian company Riko debut a unique line of “Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes” – P.A.T.H. Combining Philippe Starck’s signature timeless design and Riko’s high expertise with state-of-the-art insulation and energy production technology, P.A.T.H. houses usher in a new area of positive energy housing. They are designed to integrate seamlessly high eco-technology systems – solar, thermal, solar photovoltaic and wind turbines, which make it possible for the homes to produce more energy than they consume. As of October 2014, the different models of P.A.T.H. houses will be available to buyers and future homeowners at www.starckwithriko.com and through the P.A.T.H. Distribution network.
The desire to do good, better and fairer has long driven the work and production of internationally acclaimed creator Philippe Starck, as well as the works of Riko’s, one of the leading European manufacturers of wooden sustainable prefabricated buildings. The joint values have brought them together to create Prefabricated Accessible Technological Homes – P.A.T.H., a unique turnkey living solution that answers today’s and future challenges of individual prefabricated housing by combining high technology, comfort, timeless design, and respect for the environment to deliver a reliable product for the people will live in it.
P.A.T.H. houses are built following state-of-the-art industrial prefabrication methods, which guarantee maximum reliability. Their unique building process is the brainchild of engineers, who were inspired by the experience and technological challenges shared by Philippe Starck and Riko after years of intense collaboration. This process minimizes any possibility of errors compared to classical on-site building methods. Janez Škrabec, CEO of Riko, explains: “for more than 20 years, we have been building the different elements of our prefabricated houses and now, those of P.A.T.H. houses, in our own production facilities. In terms of technology, we work through a very precise building process”. This process also makes it possible for the owners to save time and money. Thus, once the house has been ordered, it takes us less than 6 months time to deliver the P.A.T.H turnkey house to the new owners. Assembling and finishing works take approximately three months. Moreover, with a range of prices from 2 500,00 to 4 500,00 euros per square meter according to the owners’ specific choices, P.A.T.H. houses reconcile owners’ financial constraints with their desire to live within a technological and ecological environment. Philippe Starck says: “Building one’s own house can be a source of extreme danger. In fact, we all know when it starts but we never know when it is going to end or how much it will cost. Thanks to P.A.T.H. and its industrial process using prefabricated elements, everyone can access to property ownership in six months time and within a defined budget, without any surprise”.
October 2014 marks the global sales launch of the entire line of P.A.T.H., with 2 models of houses: Formentera (single-storey concentric residential homes), Montfort (single-storey or double-storey houses opened to the outside), and a third model of supplementary units intended to be used as a guest room, a garage or a garden studio. These houses, all distinguished by Philippe Starck’s signature timeless design, are available in several floor plans designed by the creator himself, in order to fit every owner’s desires and expectations. Thus, the future owners can choose between 34 different floor plans, which range in sizes 140 m2 (1,507 ft2) to 350 m2 (3,767 ft2), as well as in number of rooms (from one to eight). Philippe Starck declares: “In 34 floor plans, I wanted to provide all families with the possibility of building their dream house, while remaining loyal to their initial expectations”. Adaptable to client’s needs, living circumstances and personal requirements, P.A.T.H. models of homes also offer several personalization possibilities.
Philippe Starck states: “The scope of possibilities is very wide. It perfectly fits my vision of what a responsible creator has to do. My basic mission in life is to create open technical solutions in order to face the most important question of the future: how is it possible to provide people with the possibility to choose, to make consistent choices, taking into account various constraints, expectations and ways of life and making it possible for people to be proud of the difference they have?” He adds: “With P.A.T.H., we wanted to reach out to the largest possible public. This is the reason why I decided not to make any architectural gesture here. I didn’t want to impose anything to anyone. The architectural possibilities are very broad and flexible. For instance, the Montfort features a cornice. But other kinds of roofs are also available, single or double-pitched. The cornice-roof achieves a large number of benefits for customers. In fact, over and above the architectural tour de force, the cornice is intended to hide the whole energy producing system, which is a real factory”.
Each house is available in three types of structures (all-glass outer shell, combination of wooden walls and glass surfaces or full wooden-made structure) and in several kinds of roofs. Finally, the customers can mix-and-match several options of top-range designer exterior and interior finishes, fixtures and equipment, handpicked by Philippe Starck and gathered in the catalogue of P.A.T.H. fit-outs and finishes. This way, P.A.T.H. houses enable the owners to create their own compelling and personalized living space.
Designed to last and to fit every kinds of cultural and architectural environments, P.A.T.H. houses involve cutting-edge ecological solutions in terms of insulation and impermeability, as well as high eco-technology systems, making it possible for the owners to generate energy from renewable sources: solar panels, wind turbines seamlessly installed on the roof, rainwater recovery systems, etc. These systems allow homeowners to consume far less energy than in a traditional house: in the Montfort prototype, global energy needs are optimized for the house to consume a third of the energy that a traditional house consumes.
P.A.T.H. houses are launching the second generation of Positive Energy Buildings (BEPOS) and produce more energy than they consume: the Montfort prototype produces 50% of additional energy in comparison to what it consumes. This type of fabrication represents the future of building: in France for instance, the 2020 thermal regulation will have all new buildings compel to a positive energy status. All these new eco-technological installations have been conceived to seamlessly integrate in the architecture of P.A.T.H. houses, with the timeless design of Philippe Starck. He adds: “We do not have to point out the technology that we used to develop a project. Contrary to that, this technology must be integrated in a simple and natural way. It must become invisible for the users”.
Janez Škrabec, CEO of Riko, says: “At Riko we have integrated the most advanced engineering knowledge and the state-of-the art prefabrication technology to create a contemporary living solution which is economically accessible to all who appreciate the symbiosis of ecology and aesthetics. Above all, we consider that P.A.T.H as a universal project and we developed models, which can be implemented under different environmental and climatic conditions and within both urban and rural contexts”.
By choosing high technology, P.A.T.H. advocates for progress in order to invent the right product for the greatest number of people, built with the right material, through the right process and sold for the right price. Philippe Starck says: “My ecological and energetic awareness leads me to a balance point: the idea of right price for a right product. With P.A.T.H., I decided to provide the community with the best product, in terms of quality, technology and durability”.
In the words of Philippe Starck, P.A.T.H. is a “reliable and intelligent solution for us, our children, the children of our children facing the challenges of ecology, economy and energy’’.”
Photos courtesy of Philippe Starck