British design practice Grimshaw Architects and Dutch manufacturing specialists Concrete Valley have developed a concept for a modular home that could be built in places most susceptible to the impacts of climate change.
Called Modular Water Dwellings, the concept lays out a design for floating houses that would mitigate the risk of living in flood-prone areas, especially as sea levels rise due to global warming. It is also meant to address increasing urbanization, which has led to shortages of affordable housing in urban areas.
According to Grimshaw Architects, “Grimshaw and Concrete Valley’s Modular Water Dwellings have been conceived as a potential solution to this problem, offering affordable housing, free of the constraints of land-based construction and resilient to the mounting threat from rising sea-levels.”
The concept combines Grimshaw’s skill in experimentation and design innovation with Concrete Valley’s expertise in manufacturing high-quality and durable materials. Their assembly-line, modular approach would allow for mass-market affordability, a greater attention to detail and an efficient use of resources. Complete off-site construction would reduce waste, allow for materials to be easily recycled and reduce the environmental impact.
The Modular Water Dwellings would respond to varying site contexts, local conditions, light sources and primary views. According to the designers, they would also maximize the use of durable and non-corroding materials, such as concrete and glass, in order to ensure a long design life.
Concrete pontoons, which are floating structures filled with air, would support a walled lower deck, columns and an upper level living area. The Water Dwellings would use minimal energy, with well-insulated and shaded spaces. They would also rely on energy generated through solar roof panels and heat exchangers built into base boxes below the waterline.
Furthermore, the designers noted that this concept would encourage active lifestyles for its users due to the dwellings’ proximity to water. In turn, this would improve their wellbeing. With the concept developed, Grimshaw Architects and Concrete Valley are working on prototypes.
All images via Grimshaw Architects
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