William McDonough’s multi-use ICEhouse can be quickly assembled using local materials

Architecture International Sustainability
ICEhouse in Davos. (Courtesy Brady Johnson, William McDonough + Partners)

ICEhouse in Davos. (Courtesy Brady Johnson, William McDonough + Partners)

Architect William McDonough‘s Innovation for the Circular Economy house (ICEhouse) was a gathering space during the 2016 World Economic Forum. The temporary meeting space was designed to exhibit the “positive design framework described in the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, and the reuse of resources implicit in the circular economy.”

ICEhouse WonderFrame. (Courtesy Bertram Radelow, William McDonough + Partners)

ICEhouse WonderFrame. (Courtesy Bertram Radelow, William McDonough + Partners)

ICEhouse experiments with McDonough’s concept WonderFrame—a structural system designed for quick assembly, local materials, and a variety of uses. McDonough explained WonderFrame is “designed to help us find ways to utilize many kinds of affordable materials to create dignified buildings for people in a variety of situations. We are calling it ‘wonder’ because we want people to wonder what it’s made of, and ‘frame’ because it is meant to be whatever structure each community and culture may need, and constructed from whatever materials they have available in that place at that time.”

(Courtesy Brady Johnson, William McDonough + Partners)

(Courtesy Brady Johnson, William McDonough + Partners)

ICEhouse is made up of aluminum and SABIC’s LEXAN. The walls and roof structure were assembled in only a few days, and Shaw Contract Group provided the flooring.

To allow constant relocation, McDonough’s building was designed to be disassembled and reassembled in a few days. After its week of use at the forum, ICEhouse will be deconstructed and transported to The Valley, Schiphol Trade Park, where it will be rebuilt on site.

ICEhouse interior. (Courtesy Michelle Amt, William McDonough + Partners)

ICEhouse interior. (Courtesy Michelle Amt, William McDonough + Partners)

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