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Modular Design: The Latest Architecture and News

MIT's Mass Timber Longhouse Shows a Technology-Driven Approach to Sustainable Design

08:00 - 19 July, 2018
MIT's Mass Timber Longhouse Shows a Technology-Driven Approach to Sustainable Design, Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design
Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design

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.”

Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design Courtesy of MIT Mass Timber Design + 14

Carlo Ratti's Prototype for Sidewalk Labs Shows How the Design of Streets Could Change in Real Time

14:00 - 18 July, 2018
Carlo Ratti's Prototype for Sidewalk Labs Shows How the Design of Streets Could Change in Real Time, © Carlo Ratti Associati
© Carlo Ratti Associati

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.”

© Carlo Ratti Associati © Carlo Ratti Associati © David Pike © David Pike + 13

OOPEAA Design Modular Floating Pool for Urban Waterfronts

12:00 - 16 July, 2018
OOPEAA Design Modular Floating Pool for Urban Waterfronts, Visualization. Image Courtesy of OOPEAA
Visualization. Image Courtesy of OOPEAA

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.”

Visualization. Image Courtesy of OOPEAA Outdoor Function. Image Courtesy of OOPEAA Choreography and Views. Image Courtesy of OOPEAA Visualization. Image Courtesy of OOPEAA + 11

Cascading Brick Arches Feature in Penda's Residential Tower in Tel Aviv

14:00 - 21 June, 2018
Cascading Brick Arches Feature in Penda's Residential Tower in Tel Aviv, Courtesy of Penda Austria
Courtesy of Penda Austria

Penda has released images of its proposed high-rise residential tower in Tel Aviv, featuring brick arches and cascading terraces influenced by the city’s Bauhaus era and the materiality of its Old Town. The 380-foot-high (116-meter-high) scheme will house a range of one to four bedroom apartments, as well as double-height penthouses.

For the scheme’s design, Penda rejected the “generic glass tower” in favor of a form and materiality which responds to Tel Aviv’s sunny Mediterranean climate.

Courtesy of Penda Austria Courtesy of Penda Austria Courtesy of Penda Austria Courtesy of Penda Austria + 29

Modular Eco-Housing Pushing Boundaries With Cardboard

07:00 - 19 February, 2018
Modular Eco-Housing Pushing Boundaries With Cardboard, Under Construction. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne Witte
Under Construction. Photo Courtesy of Yvonne Witte

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

3D Printed Hexagonal Pods Could House New York City's Homeless

08:00 - 3 January, 2018
3D Printed Hexagonal Pods Could House New York City's Homeless , Courtesy of Framlab
Courtesy of Framlab

Across the world, homelessness in fast-paced metropolises such as New York City is at a record high since the Great Depression of the 1930s, more than 60,000 people are in shelters every night while many others must find a place to sleep on the streets, the subway or other public spaces. The real estate industry has caused the increasing rents and a high demand for any remaining plots; many of the new builds are luxury apartments, rather than the low-cost housing that is so desperately needed. As a result, thousands of people are forced onto the streets and charities struggle to provide adequate help for everyone.

Mural artwork by Viktor Miller-Gausa. Image Courtesy of Framlab Courtesy of Framlab Courtesy of Framlab Courtesy of Framlab + 20

Penda Creates "Urban Nest" for MINI LIVING's Shanghai Mini Life Exposition

16:00 - 29 November, 2017
Penda Creates "Urban Nest" for MINI LIVING's Shanghai Mini Life Exposition, © GQ, MINI China
© GQ, MINI China

Architecture firm Penda has created "Urban Nest," a new small living concept in collaboration with BMW China's MINI LIVING group for the recent Shanghai Mini Life Exposition. The installation is constructed from a series of 3 by 3 by 3 modules housing different program elements that can be combined to create a variety of flexible living arrangements.

© GQ, MINI China © GQ, MINI China © GQ, MINI China © GQ, MINI China + 35

Design for a Modular House Proposes a Synergy Between Prefabrication and Carpentry

04:00 - 31 August, 2017
Cortesía de abarca+palma
Cortesía de abarca+palma

Seeking to connect the traditions of carpentry and the prefabrication industry, Chilean practice abarca+palma have developed a modular house proposal made up of 10 different types of module, capable of forming 5 different house layouts.

The house is constructed in pine wood—using composite beams and pillars—with prefabricated SIP panels.

Urban Rural - Hybrid Habitation in the Heart of Istanbul

06:00 - 15 May, 2017
Urban Rural - Hybrid Habitation in the Heart of Istanbul, Urban Rural is set to become a landmark for Istanbul. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo
Urban Rural is set to become a landmark for Istanbul. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo

The American/Turkish architecture firm Eray Carbajo has unveiled Urban Rural, a new typology of urban living set to become a benchmark for future development in Istanbul, Turkey. The vision behind Urban Rural is for a hybrid model of living, combining close proximity to urban centers with the lush landscape of rural life. Challenging the status quo of typical residential typologies, the scheme will consist of modular hexagonal units with triangular gardens, forming an active façade designed to become a future landmark for the city.

Urban Rural aims to challenge the status quo of urban living. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo Modular hexagonal units with triangular gardens dominate the facade. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo Modular hexagonal units with triangular gardens dominate the facade. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo Urban Rural is set to become a landmark for Istanbul. Image Courtesy of Eray Carbajo + 6

AD Classics: Kafka's Castle / Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitecturas

04:00 - 9 May, 2017
AD Classics: Kafka's Castle / Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitecturas, © Ricardo Bofill
© Ricardo Bofill

Standing on a rise overlooking the Spanish Mediterranean coast, there is an odd structure which could easily be mistaken for an vast pile of forgotten blocks. Kafka’s Castle, built in 1968, was one of the earlier projects completed by Ricardo Bofill, a Spanish Postmodern architect known for apartment buildings as monumental as they were thought-provoking. While his later work indulged in Postmodern historicism, the modular and mathematically-derived Kafka’s Castle was an unabashed break from any local or global tradition – as much the case now as it was in the 1960s.

© Ricardo Bofill © Ricardo Bofill © Ricardo Bofill Once the physical model of Kafka’s Castle was completed, RBTA managed to condense all necessary construction information into only five drawings. Image© Ricardo Bofill + 19

Living Capsule Offers Shelter From Disasters

12:00 - 18 December, 2016

Costa Rican architect César Oreamuno has designed a modular capsule that accommodates to the basic needs of a community after a state of emergency or disaster. The units are adaptable and easily assembled in order to account for a variety of situations and respond to a series of unique functions, although the main theme of the project is focused on improving the quality of attention towards the basic needs of crisis victims, as well as encouraging the development of the community.

Courtesy of César Oreamuno Courtesy of César Oreamuno Planta de Distribución Dormitorio Corte Perspectiva Dormitorio + 22

Inflatable Arches Chosen to Reimagine St. Catherine Street Construction Site

06:00 - 10 October, 2016
Inflatable Arches Chosen to Reimagine St. Catherine Street Construction Site, Courtesy of KANVA
Courtesy of KANVA

The City of Montreal has selected KANVA's IMAGO as the winner of Vivre le Chantier Sainte-Cath, a competition seeking to maintain access to and usage of St. Catherine Street, downtown Montreal's primary commercial artery, as it undergoes a four-year construction period. The construction includes infrastructure developments—enhancements to underground infrastructure, new public transit systems, and increased pedestrian access—and while segments of the street will be closed to car traffic, pedestrian paths and all businesses will remain open during construction.

Courtesy of KANVA Courtesy of KANVA Courtesy of KANVA Courtesy of KANVA + 12

SUMMARY Fully-Furnished Modular Homes Can Be Assembled in Just 3 Days

09:00 - 30 December, 2015

Text description provided by the architects. The result of a research and development project, the Gomos modular system is an effective response to the contemporary need to simplify and speed up the construction process.  Composed of reinforced concrete modules, it is a scalable system in which each module leaves the factory completely ready, including all interior and exterior finishes, insulation, window frames, water and electricity and even the fixed furniture pieces. The on site assembly can be completed in just a few days by joining the modules together. The construction process can thus be broken down into four phases: production of the structure; installation of finishes and facilities; transportation; and assembly.

These Modular "Hobbit Houses" Can Be Assembled in Three Days

16:00 - 12 December, 2015
These Modular "Hobbit Houses" Can Be Assembled in Three Days, Courtesy of Green Magic Homes
Courtesy of Green Magic Homes

Have you ever wanted to live in a Hobbit House? Or maybe just be closer to nature? Now, with Green Magic Homes’ prefabricated houses, you can. Made with fiber re-enforced polymer modules, the homes can be customized, and take as few as three days to construct.

Jump Off A Cliff and Land in Bed in this Edgy Australian Home

01:00 - 12 September, 2014
Jump Off A Cliff and Land in Bed in this Edgy Australian Home, Exterior View. Image Courtesy of Modscape
Exterior View. Image Courtesy of Modscape

Picture yourself waking up daily to a 180-degree view of the ocean without leaving the comfort of your living room. The owners of the as-yet-unbuilt Cliff House have teamed up with Modscape of Australia to design their compact dream home, delicately perched above open water, hanging off the cliff's edge. Cliff House redefines "living dangerously" with its vast floor to ceiling windows and slender steel supports acting as the only separation between watching Jaws and actually being in Jaws.

Dive into Cliff House with images, plans and more info after the break.