Modular buildings are automatically assumed to be unstylish, outdated, and dreary constructions stuck on the side of a traditional build. However, not many people realise that many of our modern-day skyscrapers and fashionably styled new builds are built from modular buildings, or affectionately known as shipping containers, as they resemble a shipping container from the outside.
Nakagin Capsule Tower, Japan – The Nakagin Capsule Tower in Japan is synonymous with a modular living culture. Many people know the “gimmick” in the east of pod hotels or very small apartments. However, this is a one-off or novel experience when the art of modular living has been in Japanese culture for generations. The Nakagin Capsule Tower comprises many small modular homes in a small space, stacked together to create a unique looking building. The outside of this building can give away the age, but the rooms are clean and modernised inside.
B2, Brooklyn, USA – Structural engineering and the ability to precisely create modular containers in a factory offsite enabled the creation of this precisely shaped, triangular apartment complex. This building was originally an experiment to see if modular buildings could make a living in a big city more affordable and sustainable. It was created 18 months short of the average construction project for tower blocks. In addition, the apartments were priced below the market rate to achieve affordability, making B2 a blueprint for tackling overpricing in cities.
Wuhan Hospital, China – When the Covid 19 virus hit, obviously Wuhan was hit first, and bad. China responded quickly and decided Wuhan needed a hospital building to address the natural disaster outbreak appropriately. They chose to use modular construction to create a fully functioning hospital and could do this in just ten days.
George Road, Croydon, UK – This residential complex is currently under construction and will be the world’s tallest modular building when completed. It is part of Croydon’s rejuvenation scheme, aiming to bring more revenue to the area and make it a more pleasant place to live and work. This has made the buildings exempt from the usual environmental impact assessment conducted on most structures, thanks to modular construction. In addition, by having the building segments created offsite and in a factory, they have minimised wastage and the disturbance caused by conventional buildings; these lower both the environmental impact and disruption to the surrounding areas.
Nest Toolkit, LA – This is another example of the modern and innovative way a modular building can improve and revolutionise the way we work, live, and think about buildings and construction regarding economics, environment, and social factors. A company in LA has been developing affordable prefabricated living units that can easily be rearranged and customised into different ways to fit the user’s needs. Providing affordable housing for the homeless helps them find social purpose and actively seek further aid to improve their situation, allowing them to integrate back into everyday society easier.