A house design that takes its inspiration from the Tesla Cybertruck has seen a surge in popularity amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Cyber House and CyberHouseLife projects, designed by Moscow-based firm Modern House, have an angular design and boast of the ability to protect the owners from a zombie apocalypse. The design, unveiled earlier this year, is inspired by the angular all-electric Cybertruck unveiled by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in November 2019.
“Interest in Cyberhouse has grown significantly over the past two weeks, and we certainly attribute this to the rapid spread of coronavirus around the world,” Alex Wizhevsky, chief architect at Modern House, told South China Morning Post. Where the team had been receiving one or two requests per week, Wizhevsky told the publication that this had jumped to 12 requests in the past two weeks.
The work is one of the notable ways that the Tesla Cybertruck has had real-world influence. The vehicle sports an angular design due to what Musk claims is its body material: it's made of cold-rolled 30X steel, which Musk claims is too hard to easily shape into more traditional curves. In the aftermath of the unveiling, one competitor to the accompanying ATV described the truck to Inverse as sporting an "8-bit" look, referring to older video games.
Modern House's design, inspired by the Cybertruck to the point where the concept art shows the vehicle parked outside, appears to have struck a chord. The Cyber House is listed as offering protection from natural disasters like hurricane wind, earthquakes, chemical emissions and more. Negative-sloped walls mean that "even the most nimble and smart zombie" can't get inside, a feature that's also been touted as a benefit of the Cybertruck.
The company describes the building as "a kind of autonomous multi-level bunker," with a bomb shelter, armored window glazing, airlock doors, and a terrace that can transform. Solar panels, wastewater treatment and wind turbines support off-grid operations. The building is designed for up to seven people to live comfortably, measures 82 by 98 feet and the project covers an area of 984 square feet. The alternate CyberLifeHouse design, carved into a rock slope, has an area of 14,746 square feet.
Wizhevsky told the publication that prices start from around $860,000 for a 3,229 square foot house. They're currently working on a project in the northern Veneto region of Italy, following an "urgent request" from some young people two weeks ago. But Joseph Tsang Kay-yan, an infectious disease expert, told the publication that "just an idea is not enough" and the data needs to prove that it's actually capable of keeping coronaviruses away.
Tesla has some experience itself of skepticism around threat protection. It offers a Bioweapon Defense Mode for the Model S and Model X vehicles, designed to filter viruses 800 times better than without the system. In interviews with Gizmodo, though, experts warned that a 0.3-micrometer HEPA filter would probably filter out most bacteria, but there are many viruses that could still get through.