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A New Reality for Sustainable Living

SPACE10 and EFFEKT Architects presented a vision for how to design, build and share our future homes, neighbourhoods and cities for a better quality of life.

At this year’s Democratic Design Days— an annual event organized by IKEA where the brand introduces its upcoming collections and collaborations—SPACE10 presented The Urban Village Project- a mission to tackle some of the urgent challenges we face in our new urban realities by creating more liveable, affordable and sustainable homes.

The subscription-based housing model

The subscription-based housing model would provide multi-generational co-living

The Urban Village Project envisions cross-generational shared living communities in the hearts of our cities with flexible, high quality homes connected to a variety of shared services and facilities and a digital interface to support everyday needs.

The Project makes sustainable living a seamless part of daily life through integrated solutions like water harvesting, clean energy production, recycling, local food production and localised composting. Even the whole architectural framework is rooted in sustainable materials and a circular approach to our built environment.

Shared facilities would include transport, dining, workspaces and daycare

 Even in densely populated areas, "Urban Villages" find their place

Even in densely populated areas, “Urban Villages” find their place

The standardised modular building system of The Urban Village Project can be pre-fabricated, mass-produced and flat-packed— all of which would help drive construction costs down. Combining this with democratic setups inspired by community land trusts and co-operatives could secure the interests of the community and allow cheaper homes to enter the market.

The initiative also seeks to make life more affordable by enabling people to share more, pool resources, and unlock better deals on daily needs to reduce the residents’ overall living costs. By introducing a new model of ownership, residents are enabled to buy ‘shares’ in the property, if they’d want to and when they could. This means that people could access ownership progressively, and cash in later as the property value increases.

Residents could add on services

Residents could add on services, such as food or media, through flexible subscriptions

Residents could gradually become homeowners, by purchasing shares

The architecture of the Urban Village Project is based on a standardised modular building system which is made from cross-laminated timber – a wood that comes with huge environmental advantages and outperforms steel and concrete on multiple levels. The modular system can be used to build everything from town houses to high rises, from single person homes to spaces that house several loved ones under the same roof and also allows for all components and materials to be disassembled and replaced, reused and recycled over the lifespan of the building. Even the building itself could be retrofitted or disassembled and repurposed.

Structure would be built

Structure would be built from cross-laminated timber in standardised modular units

“Urban Villages is based on a modular building system which allows us to configure a wide range of different housing typologies for different urban settings. The system is designed for disassembly, unlocking a truly circular material loop where building components and materials can be reused and replaced rather than wasted. This could be a game changer for the building industry.” says Sinus Lynge, partner, EFFEKT Architects.

By Aarthi Mohan

Photo credit:  All images and illustrations made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10.

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