Industrial architecture usually requires fast installation, low-maintenance components, and flexible spaces that can be used for different purposes. Therefore, modular solutions are very common in this type of construction, also adding a powerful visual language to the building.
Modular Design: The Latest Architecture and News
Luxembourg Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Explores Alternative Modes of Living Amid the Housing Crisis
The Luxembourg Pavilion at the 17th Architecture Biennale reflects on how the pandemic has brought a series of dualities to the spotlight, challenging the understanding of the relationships established between architecture and land, interior and exterior, home and work or the built environment and nature. In light of these issues, the exhibition titled Homes for Luxembourg, designed by Sara Noel Costa de Araujo (Studio SNCDA) and featuring contributions to the architecture publication Accattone explores ideas of modular, reversible living while also illustrating a model of repurposing land to build new forms of togetherness.
As we are entering 2021 after a year of anxiety and uncertainties, what are your expectation for our future? The UN75 survey reports that most people around the world hold greater optimism for the future: “Globally, many more respondents believe people will be better off in 2045 than today (49%) compared to those who believe people will be worse off (32%).”
Morris+Company has launched the Phäbb MODU modular housing project as a flexible system for homes, apartments and dwelling units. The team is working in collaboration with Phäbb, a new international prefab company based in Argentina. Four typologies can all be produced from a selection of 15 modular components and a range of material palettes to suit the local context.
Global design practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have created a modular pop-up classroom in response to COVID-19. Called School/House, it was inspired by its traditional single-room namesake and responds to the key challenges of density, air circulation, and flexibility in schools. The rapidly deployable classroom system addresses social distancing, health, and safety during the pandemic while also provides learning space during renovations or rapid growth.
The Citizen Care Pod is a new initiative for COVID-19 smart screening and testing, combining intelligent technology with a modular design. Led by the Citizen Care Pods Corporation, the multi-disciplinary team, consisting of Toronto based WZMH Architects, PCL Construction, Insight Enterprises, and Microsoft, collaborated to bring the project from concept to reality in less than a month.
Framlab, an innovation studio based in Bergen and New York City has created Glasir, a community-based system for urban farming. The proposed modular structure relies on aeroponic growth systems to provide local products.
DMDmodular is manufacturing modules for the world's tallest modular hotel, in the Big Apple. The modular elements of the 26-story AC Marriott New York NoMad, designed by Danny Forster & Architecture, are produced in Skawina, Poland and shipped to the United States.
Brooks + Scarpa and Plant Prefab have developed a new toolkit to address housing shortages. Scalable as an infill solution, the Nest toolkit can be configured in multiple ways using site types and typical lot sizes, or a combination of them. The toolkit was made to address LA’s shortage of supportive housing for the homeless and provide flexibility to meet the needs of a particular site, neighborhood, and bed count.
Hope on Alvarado, designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning, is the first modular housing project in the series of Hope On developments, aiming to find sheltering solutions for the chronically homeless, in Los Angeles.
As construction evolves, new advancements are shaping how we design. These movements are the product of shared ideas and the convergence of building technologies that open up new possibilities for architecture. From the atomic scale of materials to preassembled homes and faraway planets, the changes in BuildTech are felt across industries. As a result, disciplines are learning from one another to reimagine how we build.
With the concept of downsizing in mind, Danish architectural company Njordrum is elaborating innovative concepts for housing. Basing their modular design on Scandinavian aesthetics, the office hopes to bring together architecture, nature, light, and people.
Construction company Bouygues Batiment International, in collaboration with their modular construction laboratory Dragages Singapore, has celebrated the completion of the tallest building tower ever built from modular construction, the Clement Canopy buildings in Singapore.
Precht has designed a timber skyscraper concept that combines modular housing with vertical farming. The concept was created by Penda co-founder Chris Precht and his wife Fei to reconnect people in cities with agriculture. In their proposal, the modular housing units would be built so that residents can produce their own food. Dubbed the Farmhouse, the concept aims to create more sustainable ways of living as city dwellers are increasingly losing touch with food production.
MIT Mass Timber Design, a cross-disciplinary design workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have developed a building prototype that aims to tackle the world’s growing energy crisis, “one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.” Extensively using the wood-based building design and construction technology mass timber - a method growing in popularity within North America - the project utilizes the “efficiency, speed, precision and versatility” of prefabricated timber construction elements to realize a multi-functional, sustainable building. The longhouse typology, often one of the first permanent structures of a civilization, is a common across the world, but in adapting its construction to face modern-day issues, the team hopes to create a space that “builds upon this rich cultural icon.”
Carlo Ratti Associati, working in collaboration with Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, has unveiled their design for a modular paving system named “The Dynamic Street.” Intended to make streets “reconfigurable, safer, and more accessible to pedestrians, cyclists, and tomorrow’s self-driving vehicles,” the project will be on display at Sidewalk Lab’s office and experimentation space in Toronto throughout the summer of 2018.
Manifesting as a series of hexagonal modular pavers, the project explores the various patterns which can be created by reconfiguring modules, with a potential future “allowing a street to create an extra car lane during rush hour before then turning it into a pedestrian-only plaza in the evening.”
OOPEAA (Office for Peripheral Architecture) has won an invited competition for the design of the Allas Sea Pool Family in Helsinki, Finland. Constructed on floating platforms, and designed as a modular, flexible, adjustable system, the Allas Sea Pool Family is intended to be a new global typology for coastal sites, where building on land is not feasible.
The invited competition asked entrants to submit proposals which responded to varying environmental and seasonal conditions, with OOPEAA ultimately chosen for their “strong concept that places the floating spa in a central location in the city.”