Save a Banga

Save a Banga

Our recent series of posts about small, pre-fab FRP shelters from past decades (Futuro House, The Fly’s Eye Dome, and Kalikosmia) has attracted the attention of a crusader, German architect Pamela Voigt.  An historian of what she terms “plastic houses,” Voigt contacted Composites and Architecture to alert us to the availability of a flock of FRP bungalows from the early 70’s, called Bangas.  Available, as in, “For Sale” and in need of buyers to preserve them from destruction.

The Bangas were designed by Carlo Zappa in 1971, produced and sold by Bungalows International SRL, Milan, Italy.  Completely factory-assembled including cast-in plumbing fixtures and integrated furnishings, the Banga was designed to sleep four people on couches that convert to beds.  Its footprint is a 3.25m (10.7 ft) square with truncated corners, for an area of 8.1 m2 (87 sf).  The walls are a sandwich made of two 2.5mm (1/10 inch) layers of FRP with a foam core, for a 30mm (1.2 inch) thick wall assembly.

The current flock of 26 Bangas comprise a former holiday/camping site in Sicily, not used in almost a quarter-century.  Now, the property is slated to be re-developed, and the Bangas must go.  Voigt is seeking buyers to adopt (i.e. purchase) and restore them.

Voigt reports that the FRP shells have some cracks in the ceiling, the result of an ill-informed attempt to move them using a crane attached through the ceiling-hole, but they are otherwise sound and showing only minimal bared-fibers on the surfaces.   The Bangas are very dirty and moss-covered from neglect, though.  She has lined up a German firm, FiberTech, Chemnitz, to do restoration once buyers have been found.  They will be repaired, cleaned, and presumably resurfaced as necessary.  The cost of a fully restored Banga will be 20,000 euros plus taxes and transportation.  Transportation will include partial disassembly and a special frame to protect the shape structurally; it will fit in a shipping container.

If you are interested in owning an unusual slice of architectural history, contact Pamela Voigt, Brandvorwerkstraße 52-54, D 04275 Leipzig. pamela.voigt@kunststoffbauten.de.  She has also co-authored a book on the pioneers of FRP housing, which is available on her website,  www.kunststoffbauten.de.

Images courtesy of Pamela Voigt