Rethinking living spaces: Modular architecture and housing concepts

Modular architecture and flexible housing concepts mark the future of living - we show sustainable and creative projects that rethink the way we live

Refurbished
UNStudio Project Van B Munich | © Bauwerk / bloomimages

Author: House of Eden

Housing is not only a well-known problem in large cities, space is scarce and rents are sometimes unaffordable. At the same time, the urgency for high quality and sustainable homes is increasing. For that, new approaches and creative ideas are needed.

Modular architecture and flexible living concepts already offer exciting models

Modular architecture works with stand ready-made components. These are mass-produced and standardised items, which can be individually adapted to the requirements of the respective construction project. This offers the possibility of avoiding well-known difficulties of conventional architecture, such as less sustainable, time-consuming and expensive.

 But what makes modular construction more sustainable?

  • Sustainable materials: The modular construction allows a more creative use of sustainable materials, the material consumption is optimised through recycling as well as a quick dismantling
  • Improved air quality: The processing of the materials takes place mostly dry in the factory - this avoids that the moisture is trapped in the built-in materials, which leads to a better air quality leads
  • Can be used for any construction project: With appropriate planning and design, it is possible to build any building with a modular concept
  • Reduced noise pollution: Modular construction can reduce the noise pollution of buildings, as only one crane and far fewer staff would be required

Sustainable projects for modular architecture and living concepts

1. Van B:

UNStudio Project Van B Interior

Project Van B Munich | © Bauwerk / bloomimages

This ambitious construction project takes the idea of ​​modular construction to the next level. As a prototype project for urban living the construction project Van B located in Munich is rethinking urban life in small spaces. UNStudio and the architect Ben van Berkel, primarily opted for a modular interior model. Multifunctional furniture modules, can be flexibly adapted to the changing needs of the residents. This makes it possible to better respond to changing demographics and family constellations.

Sustainability: The project was designed to be sustainable from the start - for example, the basement walls of the previous building have been retained and restored. Parts of the foundation and the basic structure could be integrated into the new building and thus recycled. This saves material and time. The garden roof further cools the building and the bay windows are each aligned, resulting in the best possible light for apartments. This also reduces power consumption in the long term.

2. U-Build:

Modular architecture for interior construction

U-Build Modular Commercial Fit-outs & Furniture | © Studio Bark

Studio Bark has developed a construction method based on the principle of circular economy . The result is a revolutionary plug-in system: specially designed wooden panels are interlinked and can be built into larger modules as required. All boxes can be easily assembled. This makes the U-Build System ideal for fast projects, which have to be flexible or can only be used for a certain period of time. The U-Build system can be divided into 3 areas: garden studios, homes, fit-outs and furniture.

Sustainability: This system is particularly sustainable as it can be quickly dismantled, rebuilt and reused. The wood comes from sustainable sources and, as a renewable material, is ideal for green living systems. Most U-Build projects also do not require a concrete foundation, but can simply be placed on any ground.

3. Wikkelhouse

Modular architecture, Cabbin by Wikkelhouse in nature

Wikkelhouse Modular Extendable Cabin | © Wikkelhouse / Yvonne Witte

The Dutch creative studio Fiction Factory developed an unconventional system for small houses. The charming tiny houses can be set up anywhere in just an hour and do not require any special foundation. This makes these mini houses particularly suitable for unusual locations, be it in difficult-to-build terrain or unusual places such as a boat.

Sustainability:Thanks to the modular system, the house can be expanded as required and individually adapted to suit any requirement. Be it as a guest house on Heligoland with kitchen, shower, bathroom and wood stove or as a private home office extension. The Wikkelhouse doesn't get its name by chance. Because specially developed cardboard boxes are wrapped around a basic structure, insulated with Flax and clad with wood. Through this combination and the use of cardboard, the house remains very light, stable and uses less wood.

Advantages for modular architecture compared to conventional construction methods

The advantages of the modular architecture are obvious - with the modular architecture you can build faster, more creatively, more cheaply and more gently. Materials are easier to plan, can be reused, recycled and dismantled more quickly.

Thanks to the controlled construction conditions of the individual elements, the costs of the construction project can be massively reduced. Unpredictable weather conditions, staff shortages and time-consuming bureaucracy make conventional construction projects difficult to plan and expensive. The modular, sustainable construction project is usually cheaper and quicker to implement.

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