Rendering courtesy of Think! Architecture and Design
Hoping to create affordable housing more quickly and at a lower cost, New York City is turning to cutting-edge construction methods. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced on Monday plans to develop 167 affordable housing units in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York using modular construction. The $70 million project would become the first under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York 2.0 program to use this method of building on property owned by the city. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, officials think modular construction could reduce the project’s timeline by 25 to 30 percent.
The growing need to build affordable housing in big, dense cities while keeping expenses to a minimum led to Malaysian designer Haseef Rafiei’s idea for a futuristic “skyscraper” housing pod vending machine. A Dezeen video shows how the designer–he won an honorable mention in this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition–inspired by the fascination with vending machines and robotics in Japan, sketched up the skyscraper idea for offering prospective homeowners a way to customize–and then create–a modular home. The home would then be slotted into place within a high-rise framework. According to the designer, the Pod Vending Machine is based on a “3D-printed building that grows in parallel with the city’s housing demand.”
Check out this ‘affordable mass produced home dispenser’
While New York City developers have been laser-focused on bringing us the world’s tallest residential towers, the Chinese are in pursuit of another marker: building them the fastest. A 57-story skyscraper was recently completed in Changsha, Hunan Province in just 19 working days, erected at an incredible rate of three floors a day. Called “Mini Sky City,” the construction is an assembly of 2,736 glass-and-steel modules fabricated off-site over the course of roughly five months. Though the tower may have come quickly, the offerings within don’t fall short: the new high-rise boasts 19 atriums, office space for 4,000 people, 800 apartments, and is reportedly earthquake-resistant.
Watch the incredible video here
Photo © Field Condition
Prefab housing has taken the world by storm in the last years, lauded for its low cost and flexibility, with buildings ranging from single-family homes to art schools popping up across the globe. But not until Forest City Ratner’s plan for B2 BKLYN have we seen an attempt to build a large-scale module tower topping out at 32-stories—the world’s tallest prefab tower.
It’s well known that the project has been a big flop; construction was far slower than originally projected and was halted in August amidst disputes between the builder, Skansa USA, and the developer, Forest City Ratner. In September lawsuits went flying, both pointing fingers as to why the whole thing failed. Forest City blamed the execution of the plan, while Skanska said the design was flawed. Fast-forward to today, and the work on the tower has been shut down with only 10 stories erected. A recent WSJ article looks at where the whole thing went awry, and more importantly: Is pre-fab construction even feasible at such a scale?
- One57 Gets its First Residents: If you haven’t heard of One57 you’ve probably been living under a rock. Well, the NY Times is here to lift that rock with an update of the “Billionaire’s Row” building, along with some residents who have already moved in.
- Extell’s $65 Million Townhouse: The NY Daily News spotlights Extell’s 10,000-square-foot, unfinished town home that plans to shatter the record for the city’s most expensive “white box” sale ever.
- Google Wants Apps for Cardboard: FastCo. covers Google’s most head-scratching I/O moment, an advanced virtual reality headset designed with the state-of-the-art material… cardboard.
- A 3D Desk Made of 2D Graph Paper: PSFK spotlights Yin Chang who takes a 2D grid system and turns it into a 3D structure. Impressed yet?
Images: Modular desk (left), Cardboard headset (right)