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Modular: The Latest Architecture and News

3 Major Architecture Firms Propose School Buses and Shipping Containers for Accessible Testing Labs

Despite all the news of re-openings, lifted restrictions, al fresco options dining, and a return to something more closely resembling “normal,” COVID-19 is still very much with us. And despite the defeatist/downplayed/nothing to see here stance embraced by the current presidential administration, the United States is still in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis. In some states, both new reported cases and hospitalizations have now reached record highs.

This being said, the need for accessible, easy to fabricate, and quick-to-deploy testing facility solutions are still in great need, particularly in dense urban areas, at large institutions and workplaces, and in underserved communities where coronavirus testing might come as a luxury, not a basic necessity. In terms of testing availability, all bases need to and must be covered.

LOHA Breaks Ground on Modular Supportive Housing for Los Angeles

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects have broken ground on a modular design for supportive housing in South Los Angeles. Dubbed Isla Intersections, the project is part of a triangular parcel of land next to the freeway being developed as LA’s first shared street. Designed with open public space and 54 homes for some of LA's most vulnerable residents, the project was made to explore the future of housing.

This Off-Site Construction System Duplicates Floors in Barcelona Buildings in 3 Days

La Casa por el Tejado, a company specializing in the construction of old buildings, duplicated both the living spaces and the number of floors of an apartment building on Avenida Meridiana in the El Clot neighborhood of Barcelona. The new residences were built off-site in 12-weeks time and in accordance with the building's original dimensions and characteristics.

How Modular Construction Could Offer a Lasting Solution in the Affordable Housing Crisis

This article was originally published in Autodesk's Redshift publication as "How Building Modular Homes can Help Fill the Affordable Housing Gap."

“Modular” isn’t a construction product; it’s a construction process. This is according to Tom Hardiman, executive director of the Modular Building Institute (MBI), whose members include more than 350 companies involved in the manufacturing and distribution of modular buildings, including multifamily homes.

USUS Architectes Propose Modular Design for Millevaches Plateau Competition

French architects USUS Architectes reinvent the typical campground by designing a modular multipurpose structure as an ecological bivouac along the trekking routes in Massif Central, France. Together, the Association of Natural Parks of the Massif Central (IPAMAC), PNR Livradois-Forez, PNR Millevaches in Limousin, and the International Center for Art and Landscape (CIAP) wanted to tackle the lack of suitable accommodation along the trails. After deliberating from over 64 proposals, the agencies ultimately selected Peaks + Simon BOUDVIN and USUS + Zebra3 as project co-laureates of the competition.

Courtesy of USUS Architectes Courtesy of USUS Architectes Courtesy of USUS Architectes Courtesy of USUS Architectes + 10

Florian Marquet Proposes Modular Living Spaces with Full Autonomous Mobility

Florian Marquet, an architect based in Shanghai, recently released a proposal to rethink urban life through autonomous mobile living spaces. Dubbed 'the org’, his project aims to reconsider the housing market's status quo and provide a more balanced model for urban living across ages. The modular system would respond to user needs with a range of programs, from green farming and kitchen units to flexible work areas and sleeping quarters. Made for easy fabrication, the units could be ordered instantly via an app.

the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet the org. Image Courtesy of Florian Marquet + 10

How Could Modern Self-Build Communities Challenge the Role of the Architect?

Self-build”: no mention of an architect, or anyone else for that matter. Maybe it’s a prehistoric urge that makes this idea so enticing; our earliest ancestors constructed their primitive huts to suit their unique needs and reflect their status or style. “Self-build” promises to physically re-connect people to the homes they live in.

However, the romantic notion of "self-build" housing is rarely compatible with the modern reality we live in. Building has become increasingly clouded by the difficulty of procuring land, excessive governmental red-tape, and an increase in building complexity. While self-build remains the purest form of this dream, there are now a series of nuanced processes that can help us achieve similar results. As a new generation of communities that encourage this dream emerges, we must look at the role the architect plays within them.

via Graven Hill Village Development Company via Graven Hill Village Development Company via Graven Hill Village Development Company via Graven Hill Village Development Company + 9

London's Landmark Brutalist "Space House" Is Captured in a Different Light in this Photo Essay

© Ste Murray
© Ste Murray

Appreciated within the industry but often maligned by the general public, brutalism came to define post-war architecture in the UK, as well as many countries around the world. In his 1955 article The New Brutalism, Reyner Banham states it must have “1, Formal legibility of plan; 2, clear exhibition of structure, and 3, valuation of materials for their inherent qualities as found.”

One Kemble Street, a 16-story cylindrical office block originally named "Space House" and designed by George Marsh and Richard Seifert, clearly exhibits all of these characteristics, creating a landmark in the heart of London that remains as striking today as it was upon its completion in 1968. Photographing the Grade-II listed building throughout the day, photographer Ste Murray manages to beautifully capture the building’s essence, celebrating its 50 year anniversary while also highlighting the intrigue of its form in a way that suggests parallels to contrasting ideologies.

© Ste Murray © Ste Murray © Ste Murray © Ste Murray + 23

"Pixel Facade" System Combines a Love for Nature With Next-Generation Workspaces

Recently shortlisted for the 2018 Design Challenge "Design the Next-Generation Facade" by Metals in Construction Magazine, this "Pixel Facade" system is an adaptive, scalable and repeatable building system that can be applied to various building typologies. The system draws inspiration from our innate desire for nature, also known as "biophilia." The "Pixel Facade" system merges a contemporary office environment with biophilic environments to create the next generation of office design.

Adjaye Associates Among Team of Britain's Top Designers Commissioned by Startup to Help Solve the UK's Housing Crisis

A new property startup named Cube Haus is looking to alter the existing housing market, offering high-value homes at reasonable prices "that can be configured to fit small and awkward urban sites." To do this, Cube Haus is commissioning a team of Britain's top architects and designers: Adjaye Associates, Faye Toogood, Carl Turner Architects and Skene Catling de la Peña. The team will create a series of customizable modular homes with a focus on outstanding design.

Design by Adjaye Associates. Image © Edit.rs Design by Faye Toogood. Image © Edit.rs Design by Faye Toogood. Image © Edit.rs Design by Skene Catling de la Peña. Image © Edit.rs + 13

Modular Eco-Housing Pushing Boundaries With Cardboard

Designed and developed by Fiction Factory, a company of creative makers from Amsterdam, Wikkelhouse loosely translates to ‘wrapped house.' This sustainable modular house is uniquely created with cardboard as its main building material and is customizable in its size and function.

Wikkelhouse Dordrech. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne Witte Close-up Construction. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne Witte Layers of Cardboard. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne Witte Wikkelhouse Interior. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne Witte + 12

4 Tiny Houses Selected as Winners in the Ryterna modul Architectural Challenge 2018

European modular container and building producer Ryterna modul has announced the winners of their fourth International competition: Architectural Challenge 2018 Tiny House. The competition asked for the design of a home for two people no larger than 25 square meters that integrated a kitchen, bathroom, living room, and sleeping area into a cohesive environment. With 150 projects from 88 countries, the three winning solutions and one honorable mention turn micro dwelling into a luxury.

See all the winning entries below.

Architects Create Affordable "Exoskeleton" Pavilion With Modular Woods, Tie Straps and Sliding Joints

"Exoskeleton" is a pavilion that shows how Computer Aided Manufacturing can create rapid prototypes. This manufacturing process allows for real-scale construction and experimentation with limited resources. 

In this project, a system of modules, designed with different dimensions, is put together with simple joints without nails or screws. This allows for different surfaces to be formed and for the pieces to be rotated and assembled at various angles and heights.

Courtesy of Jeroen Christiaen & Saskia De Mol Courtesy of Jeroen Christiaen & Saskia De Mol Courtesy of Jeroen Christiaen & Saskia De Mol Courtesy of Jeroen Christiaen & Saskia De Mol + 46

Greenspace Takes Over London with WATG's 'Green Block' Proposal

London Mayor Sadiq Khan proposed the challenge -- how does London become a designated National Park City-- and WATG, London-based landscape team, headed by Demet Karaoglu, accepted the challenge. In addressing the Mayor’s challenge, the team worked with Daniel Raven-Ellison, Guerrilla Geographer and Creative Explorer leading London’s campaign to become the world’s first National Park City.

Greenspace Takes Over London with WATG's 'Green Block' Proposal Greenspace Takes Over London with WATG's 'Green Block' Proposal Greenspace Takes Over London with WATG's 'Green Block' Proposal Greenspace Takes Over London with WATG's 'Green Block' Proposal + 5

Open Source Plan for a Modular Urban Gardening Structure Offers a Flexible Design for Locally Grown Food

As a response to the fast-paced city life, GrowMore is an urban gardening modular design with endless configurations to suit even the most unexpected of spaces. Designed by Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum, the modular building kit provides an opportunity for social interaction and locally grown vegetation, reminding people to pause and connect with nature.

© Daniel Ruiz © Daniel Ruiz © Daniel Ruiz © Daniel Ruiz + 13

A Modular Wooden Bench Forms the Backbone of this Awesome Undulating Walkway

This modular design developed by the students of the Department of Architecture Sciences at Ryerson University proposes a public space to sit and relax that works as an extension of the walkway, appropriating and giving a new meaning to the parking spaces in the streets of Toronto.

The project, with a natural wave form, is built by a series of Accoya wood modules, which allow easy storage, reuse, and reconfiguration.

© Zeenah Mohammed Ali © Zeenah Mohammed Ali © Zeenah Mohammed Ali © Zeenah Mohammed Ali + 35

The Driverless Future Challenge's Winning Entry Uses Plug-and-Play System to Reclaim Public Space for Pedestrians

Of the four finalists selected for Blank Space’s “Driverless Future Challenge”, which was announced last month, “Public Square” has emerged as the winning entry, with a plug-and-play scheme to transform New York’s public realm for its streets and pedestrians. Designed by FXFOWLE and Sam Schwartz Engineering, the proposal was selected by a panel of New York City commissioners, for its response to the competition brief with a flexible system that accommodates a variety of public space typologies, while creating a harmonious coexistence between pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles.

Courtesy of Blank Space Courtesy of Blank Space Courtesy of Blank Space Courtesy of Blank Space + 17

Cornell University's Intuitive Push/Pull Furniture Series Blends Asian Sensibility with New York Flavor

Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art and Planning has unveiled a 12-piece versatile furniture series designed for the school's New York City space in Manhattan's financial district. Created by Hong Kong-based architecture office CL3 and interdisciplinary design studio Lim + Lu (founding partners of which are Cornell alumni), each piece has been inspired both by their New York context and intuitive operation by a global user.

© NirutBenjabanpot, Garrett Rowland © NirutBenjabanpot, Garrett Rowland © NirutBenjabanpot, Garrett Rowland © NirutBenjabanpot, Garrett Rowland + 22