Shell House

Lead DesignerNicoló Bini, AIA
Project LinkView
Prize(s)Honorable Mention
Entry Description

Our submission, Shell Home is the world's first to use a unique construction approach, leveraging air pressure to form and shape an architecturally dynamic, structurally effective and environmentally efficient building envelope.
Our approach deploys a re-usable air form secured to a foundation and inflated to a specified air pressure. Steel reinforcements and concrete are added onto the inflated air form. The resulting home provides a new approach to design and construction. The building literally and figuratively emerges from the landscape, providing flowing living spaces tied to views, framed by generous openings.
The building silhouette is as sinuous aesthetically as it is efficient structurally, acting monolithically to distribute forces along its perimeter. The building shell not only contains 1/2 the embodied energy of a similarly sized traditional building, but also cuts energy use by 75%.
Our submission articulates a totally new architectural approach which elegantly synthesizes design with resilience and sustainability.


The Shell Home prototypes Binishells System 6, which deploys air forms to build thin shell concrete buildings in a matter of days. The highly sculptural forms of the Shell Home result from a new design approach leveraging natural metrics to derive buildings that are both environmentally effective and structurally efficient. Coined Biometricism, our new design approach leverages natural forces in combination with technological and material innovations to create architecturally exiting, organic buildings of various sizes and configurations. The resulting buildings are not only formally sinuous, but are more affordable, safer, faster to build and more environmental than comparable technologies. In synthesis Biometricism produces buildings that are more aesthetically relevant because their forms are derived from nature, more affordable because they require less labor and materials, safer because they are more efficient structurally, and more environmental because they provide thermal bridge-free building envelopes.
Binishells is an architectural technology company rooted in a rich history of innovation. As a pioneer in construction automation in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Binishells designed over 1,600 innovative buildings, worked in 23 countries and held over 50 patents for aspects of proprietary technologies. Binishells was re-launched 6 years ago by the original founder Dr. Dante Bini and his son Nicolo Bini. Since then Binishells has developed and tested a new suite of patent-pending construction Systems harnessing over 60 years of technological know-how which introduce a new approach to design and construction. Our new Systems offer significant improvements over our prior Systems and over other technologies using air forms. These advantages include highly enhanced architectural potentials, reduced construction time, cost and environmental impact. Our new Systems are applicable to both the high-end of the architectural market, to high-growth segments such as green construction and to high-need areas such as low cost housing and disaster relief.