Every house is always built inside a boundary or an area, right! However, have you ever seen a building with an open, permeable facade? Yes, you read it right! We’re talking about a unique structure construct by FIGR Architecture Studio that is pop-up house. Let’s know more about this remarkably strange structure.   

POP-UP House

exterior of pop-up house by figr architecture
  • Architects: FIGR Architecture & Design
  • Location: Essendon, Australia
  • Area: 198 m²
  • Year: 2021

Design by Melbourne architecture studio FIGR, The POP-UP House is the most uncommon type of building that you can ever find in a city. Locate in the gorgeous city Essendon in Australia, this house has many things that are unusual and rare. 

outside of pop-up house

After looking at the pictures, you may have also notice that it has unique features. Yes, it has an operable facade of custom-fabricated, mechanical screens. You’ll get more surprise by knowing that all these screens are controll by solar panels. Because of the closing and opening of these screens, the residence got the name “Pop Up House.”

pop-up house with a sloping roof and a large window

So, the residents will get the fresh air, natural sunlight in an appropriate amount and they can enjoy the breathtaking views of the natural surroundings. 

interior of pop-up house

Michael Artemenko from FIGR studio says, “The hovering belly of the house creates an undercroft that guides the guests into the house.”

architecture of pop-up house

Architects want to create a suburban residential design in the center part of the city that has a beautiful connection with the neighborhood. Because this area is considered a static and underutilized zone. 

design of pop up house

According to the Australian studio, “A common approach with new homes is to occupy the majority of the site whilst retaining minimal front setback with a fortified sheer built form that shuts itself off from the public realm interface. Our approach was to create a home that challenges the aforementioned notion in order to discover opportunities in the often static, underutilized, and forgotten.”

bedroom of pop up house

This is done by activating the front of the house. It automatically creates a sense of connection with its local context, and it also has an inviting social interaction within the site. 

pop-up house brick patio

Residents didn’t want a completely open front as it will not provide them complete privacy. That’s why architects include operable shutters in the front house design. They’ll give them a sense of openness while maintaining their privacy. 

The building consists of two floors. The entire upper floor has operable white doors, which are controlled by the sunlight means they’re solar power. Whereas on the ground level, timber cladding has been used. It is above the exterior patio and through into the living room.

pop up house paint color

The master bedroom has operable louvers. Visitors can enter the building via the ground floor. When you enter through the main entrance, you’ll be in the center of the house.  

 “From the outset, our clients felt their new home had to engage with the context beyond the site boundary, creating a visually engaging public setting where neighbors and friends can be part of informal gatherings,” Michael says. 

pop-up house structure

In the main hall, there is really amazing recycled brick paving underfoot with tall timber ceilings. This is also the entertainment area or family room for the family. It can be used for informal entertainment get-togethers and parties. 

brick walkway leads to a pop-up house

When anyone walks on the brick paving, they will get surprised by the beautiful greenery and Japanese maple. A double-height void has been provided on the left, which looks like puncturing the center part of the house, but it is actually provided to open up space. 

Because of the maple and netting, there is a lovely pattern create by the sunlight. It is locate next to a window seating area clad in timber. This will also provide the boundary between outside and in. 

pop-up house with a garden in the middle of it

“To further remove the idea of redundancy, the underbelly of the dwelling doubles up as a carport, an extension of the workshop and informal entertaining area,” explains FIGR Architecture. “This mouldable zone provides long term flexibility for adaption of use.”

pop-up house living room with a couch and a chair

The entire upper part of the structure hovers above a landscape zone. It is where the home’s central open courtyard is locate. The upper volume of the house is brilliantly topped with a netted area that creates additional space for play. 

pop-up house large kitchen with a center island and wooden floors

Let’s talk about the interiors. The most interesting part is the Kitchen. The entire cabinetry is in two colors: timber and dark forest green. You might be wondering why only these two shades? 

A green shelf with a potted plant on top of it

This is because the kitchen has Tasmanian oak flooring, so timber has been used for the ground level. So that the two got well blended with the flooring. In contrast, dark forest green has been use at above waist height and on the end wall.    

pop-up house with a triangular roof and a patio

The living area is pretty wide, and it opens directly onto a paved brick area. At this angle, when you look at the structure, you’ll notice one side is creating a triangular elevation from the street.

kitchen with wooden floors and green cabinets of pop-up house by figr architecture

One thing that people absolutely love about this house is that The Pop- Up house has been designed with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind.

A wooden bench sitting in the middle of a garden

Apart from the solar panels, a 5000-liter water tank is also buried in the front yard. The entire roof is clad in Surfmist Colorbond. Architects specifically chose this material as it reduces heat build-up, and also it will capture & store the roof water. Later, this water is used for flushing toilets and irrigating the garden.

Under-slab insulation and thermally broken timber-framed double-glazed windows will increase energy efficiency and save money on bills. As many possible, local traders, materials, and fittings have been used. Even all the furniture, including the dining table, chairs, and rug, are local too!


In simple words, Pop Up house by FIGR Architecture is exemplifying a home that is responsive to both its context and its inhabitants.

The FIGR Architecture & Design studio has created this residence in a new sense of style. They rejected the old traditional indoor/outdoor dualism. They use various layers and operable elements to open out or close up the house. And as per the resident’s privacy needs, they can open and close it. 

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