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Modular: The Latest Architecture and News

Bee Breeders Reveal New York Affordable Housing Challenge Winners

06:00 - 5 April, 2017
Bee Breeders Reveal New York Affordable Housing Challenge Winners, First Prize: The Table Top / Lap Chi Kwong, Alison Von Glinow . Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders
First Prize: The Table Top / Lap Chi Kwong, Alison Von Glinow . Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders

Bee Breeders have selected the winners of the New York Affordable Housing Challenge, inspired by barriers faced by the global population in our contemporary culture of housing scarcity and economic deprivation. The submissions provide various multifaceted architectural responses to scattered sites of various scales around New York City, “redefining the culture, economy, and experience of urban domesticity by means of space, material, morphology, or structure.”

Below are the winners of the New York Affordable Housing Challenge:

First Prize: The Table Top / Lap Chi Kwong, Alison Von Glinow . Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders Second Prize:  Out-Of-Site / Peter Wong, Christopher Jarrett, Nazinin Modaresahmadi, Robert Stubbs. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders Third Prize:  New York Affordable Housing Challenge / Liyang Chen, Yao Zheng. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders NYB Green Award: Forging the Upward Frontier / Ryan Ball. Image Courtesy of Bee Breeders + 85

Mecanoo and Gispen Design Modular Furniture Collection for Flexible Learning Environments

14:00 - 1 April, 2017
Mecanoo and Gispen Design Modular Furniture Collection for Flexible Learning Environments, Courtesy of Mecanoo
Courtesy of Mecanoo

Dutch firm Mecanoo has partnered with furniture manufacturer Gispen to create a new collection of modular and customizable furniture geared specifically towards creating variable working and learning environments. HUBB has been designed to adapt to a range of working requirements and scenarios, seamlessly accommodating different collaborative activities and individual work preferences.

Courtesy of Mecanoo Courtesy of Mecanoo Courtesy of Mecanoo Courtesy of Mecanoo + 10

The Story of the 1960s Mass-Produced Modular Design That Actually Went into Production

07:00 - 1 March, 2017
The Story of the 1960s Mass-Produced Modular Design That Actually Went into Production, Slovenian designer Saša J. Mächtig conceived the concept for the Kiosk K67 project half a century ago, but its ideas of indeterminacy and open-endedness remain relevant. Image Courtesy of Museum of Architecture & Design, Ljubljana
Slovenian designer Saša J. Mächtig conceived the concept for the Kiosk K67 project half a century ago, but its ideas of indeterminacy and open-endedness remain relevant. Image Courtesy of Museum of Architecture & Design, Ljubljana

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Enduring Lives of Saša Machtig's Modular Creations."

Even in relative old age, the Kiosk K67—a shape-shifting system of modular fiberglass structures—keeps active. A kiosk in Kromberk, Slovenia, in the former Yugoslavia has become a beehive. Another, used by a Bosnia and Herzegovina food vendor, has received a masonry addition. In Ljubljana, a kiosk that formerly sheltered parking lot attendants now supports an automated ticket machine.

These may not have been adaptations the Slovenian designer Saša J. Mächtig had in mind when he first conceived the K67 50 years ago. But accounting for all of them would have been impossible. In theory, the system permitted unlimited configurations and variations. By the time production stopped in 1999, around 7,500 units of the K67 had been manufactured. While most remained in Yugoslavia, some were exported abroad—among other places, to Poland, Japan, New Zealand, Kenya, Iraq, the former Soviet Union, and the United States. Around the world, they were adapted to uses ranging from border patrol stations and ski lift ticket booths to retail and fast-food stands. No one is really sure how many are still in use today, or what other kinds of folksy, improvised alterations have been made to them, but among the greatest pleasures of the kiosks is their endless capacity to surprise. The K67, a recent retrospective of Mächtig’s work at the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana managed to restore its original brilliance. And it did so without suppressing the deviations. As the show’s curator Maja Vardjan writes in her catalogue essay, what distinguishes the K67 is “its position between architecture and industrial design, embeddedness in the framework of a modern city and society, the rituals of daily life, and, last but not least, its persistent capacity to reinvent itself.” While the visionary architectural schemes of the 1960s and 1970s may inspire wistful longing (What could have been!), the K67 kiosks, even as they disappear from view, provoke a question: Why have they persisted for so long?

Project Poseidon: Gensler's Radical Proposal for a Temporary (Floating) UK Parliament

04:15 - 17 October, 2016
Project Poseidon: Gensler's Radical Proposal for a Temporary (Floating) UK Parliament, Gensler have proposed a temporary UK Parliament structure. Image © Gensler
Gensler have proposed a temporary UK Parliament structure. Image © Gensler

The British government have come to the realisation that the Palace of Westminster—the iconic UK Houses of Parliament designed by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin—is in desperate need of full-scale restoration and renovation. The decision to move ahead with the plans will be costly and inconvenient; aside from the need to repair the structure, the UK government is bracing itself for eye-watering "relocation" fees. In response to this, Gensler have proposed a temporary parliament on the banks of the River Thames.

Free Modular House for the Best Place in the World

14:46 - 13 October, 2016
Free Modular House for the Best Place in the World, Free modular house for the best place in the world
Free modular house for the best place in the world

Add the most beautiful place in the world for DublDom on the map and win a modular house DublDom 26!

Why are we looking for your place?
We created DublDom so people could live closer to nature. It was designed to fit the harmony of any landscape and become a perfect frame for any wonderful view. In order to see the most beautiful place in the world from the DublDom window, we are ready to give it to the landowner absolutely free.

Now You Can Assemble Your Own Tiny House for Outdoor Recreation

13:00 - 2 October, 2016
Now You Can Assemble Your Own Tiny House for Outdoor Recreation, © Leckie Studio
© Leckie Studio

Vancouver-based Leckie Studio Architecture + Design has founded the Backcountry Hut Company to bring affordable recreation structures to outdoor enthusiasts. Inspired by IKEA's philosophy of providing superior design at a moderate price point, the prefabricated hut prototype aims to embody the company's four cornerstones: function, quality, sustainability, and value.

© Leckie Studio © Leckie Studio © Leckie Studio © Leckie Studio + 6

Unfoldings and Assemblages: Mexico’s Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale

14:00 - 21 May, 2016

Following a competition that received 286 entries from 26 of the 32 states of Mexico, 31 proposals have been selected to be presented at the Mexican Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale. Narrating the “deep history of social participation in Mexico,” the exhibit, “Unfoldings and Assemblages,” will feature “architectures assembled from fragments, modules, relations, stories, tactics, technologies and construction strategies.” The exhibit will focus on work and experiences that can change, propagate and adapt, rather than closed systems or final products.

Go Beyond: Design Challenge

14:00 - 29 February, 2016
Go Beyond: Design Challenge

The Go Beyond: Design Challenge is unique from usual design competitions because it funds the construction of a working prototype in addition to offering prize money. This is an international design competition organized by the Singapore-based ONG FOUNDATION for architects, engineers, designers and innovators to create new-to-the-world solutions. Every year, about two million shipping containers are no longer used. What if these could be upcycled into sustainable architecture to reduce the total carbon footprint of global development?

MKPL Architects Wins Two Projects in Singapore Rail Corridor Competition

06:00 - 19 November, 2015
MKPL Architects Wins Two Projects in Singapore Rail Corridor Competition, The waterscape in the precinct is one of its distinct characteristics, where residents are able to get in close proximity with different habitants.. Image Courtesy of Norm Li for MKPL/Turenscape Team
The waterscape in the precinct is one of its distinct characteristics, where residents are able to get in close proximity with different habitants.. Image Courtesy of Norm Li for MKPL/Turenscape Team

After competing with a strong shortlist of firms, which included OMA, MVRDV, West 8, Grant Associates and Olin Partnership, a team comprising MKPL and Turenscape International has been selected for not just one, but two, of the three projects planned for the Singapore Rail Corridor – the Choa Chu Kang affordable housing development and the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station renovation. Read more about the two projects after the break.

Watch nArchitects’ My Micro New York Near Completion

08:00 - 27 October, 2015

nArchitects have released a trailer featuring the development of their “My Micro NY” proposal, which won the adAPT NYC competition in 2013. The competition was conceived as a way of addressing the need for 1-2 person apartments in New York City (see the winning scheme and finalists here). My Micro NY, which re-negotiates minimum size requirements for New York apartments, consists of a series of modular apartment units, that when constructed together, will form the tallest modular building in the city. Watch the video to see the building being erected, and stay tuned for the full feature to be released upon completion of the building.

YO! Home Offers a Compact, Transformable Living Space

12:00 - 30 August, 2015

With the cost of space rising in city centres everywhere, YO! Home by Simon Woodroffe provides a possible solution – a transformable, modular living space. Acting as a reinvention of the traditional studio apartment, YO! Home is a 40 square metre living space with movable features to create the impression of a much bigger home. Read more about this London apartment project after the break.

Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! Interior View. Image Courtesy of YO! + 11

Crowdfunding Campaign Begins for Homeless Shelter Pods

08:00 - 23 August, 2015
Crowdfunding Campaign Begins for Homeless Shelter Pods, Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of James Furzer
Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of James Furzer

After winning the 6th annual Space for New Visions competition by FAKRO last month, James Furzer of Spatial Design Architects has begun a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo for his project, “Homes for the Homeless”. The project proposes a series of modular pods which attach to existing buildings, providing a safe space for a night’s rest for the homeless. Extending beyond mere habitation, James Furzer hopes to change the way that the public sees the homeless – of which there are over 750 on any given night in London alone.

penda to Build Modular, Customizable Housing Tower in India

16:22 - 19 August, 2015
© penda
© penda

penda has released plans for their first project in India. Based on a modular building system, the Pooja Crafted Homes will allow residents of Vijayawada to design their own high-rise apartment by selecting prefabricated modules from a catalogue that will then be inserted into the tower's frame.

"In an age of mass-production and a certain conformism in the building industry, we try to use modern construction techniques to bring back a level of individualism and flexibility for the inhabitants of a highrise. A kind of individualism one would have in building his own house," says penda. 

These Detachable Pods Aim to Provide Shelter for Britain’s Homeless

06:00 - 21 July, 2015
These Detachable Pods Aim to Provide Shelter for Britain’s Homeless, Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of James Furzer
Exterior Rendered View. Image Courtesy of James Furzer

The 6th annual “Space for New Visions” competition has announced its winner: a project entitled “Homes for the Homeless,” by James Furzer of Spatial Design Architects. Hosted by FAKRO, a global manufacturer of roof windows and loft ladders, and A10 Magazine for European Architecture, the competition sought proposals that incorporated FAKRO products. With entries from around the world, projects were judged based on user comfort, environmental impact, functionality and natural light, among other things. Read about the winning entry after the break.

BBC Profiles Zhang Yue: The Man Who Plans to Build the World’s Tallest Building in 7 Months

11:30 - 16 June, 2015
BBC Profiles Zhang Yue: The Man Who Plans to Build the World’s Tallest Building in 7 Months, Courtesy of Broad Group
Courtesy of Broad Group

BBC News has published a profile on the new projects and ambitions of Broad Sustainable Building’s Zhang Yue. A few months ago, Yue became known as the man behind Mini Sky City, a 57-story building that went up in 19 days. Now, Yue wants to further his idea of modular construction to build Sky City, which will be the world’s tallest skyscraper, stretching ten meters taller than the 828 meter-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and take only seven months to complete. In addition to being constructed from prefabricated parts, Sky City will be sustainable and built from steel to help prevent earthquake damage. Construction is expected to begin on the skyscraper in early 2016. Read more about Yue, his company, and their projects in the BBC News article.

ModulARCH Festival of Modular Architecture

06:00 - 31 March, 2015
ModulARCH Festival of Modular Architecture, Courtesy of Arch for People
Courtesy of Arch for People

Organized by Czech collective Arch for People, ModulARCH is a new festival of modular architecture to be held in Brno, Czech Republic this April. The festival will explore all aspects of modular architecture from the ecological to the economic, and discuss the role of the typology within the contemporary city. Learn more about the three day conference after the break.

Chinese Company Builds 57-Story Skyscraper in 19 Days

17:10 - 24 March, 2015
Chinese Company Builds 57-Story Skyscraper in 19 Days, via BSB
via BSB

“Three floors in a day is China’s new normal,” says a representative for this 57-floor skyscraper that was built in just 19 days. Known as the “Mini Sky City” tower in Changsha, the 180,000-square-meter mixed-use building was built in record speed with modular, “LEGO-like” blocks. The process also claimed to have required less materials and significantly reduced the amount of air pollution commonly caused by dusty construction sites.

A time-lapse of the construction process, after the break.

New York to Complete First Prefabricated "Micro-Apartments" this Year

19:00 - 24 February, 2015
New York to Complete First Prefabricated "Micro-Apartments" this Year, © nARCHITECTS / NYC Mayor's Office
© nARCHITECTS / NYC Mayor's Office

With floor areas clocking in at as little as 260 square feet, My Micro NY housing units by nARCHITECTS are the latest singles-oriented housing option to enter the New York rental market. The modular units will be fabricated at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for stacking in Kips Bay this spring, and are projected to welcome their first inhabitants by the end of 2015.

Current New York city zoning and density rules set a minimum apartment floor area of 400 square feet, yet this regulation was waived for My Micro NY in the interests of creating more affordable housing. An inflated rental market has long posed issues for those seeking housing in the city, particularly singles and students with tight budgets. My Micro NY will create 9 stories and 55 individual apartments, whose features include 9 and 10 foot ceiling heights, Juliette balconies, and concealed storage space.

A look inside, after the break.