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Brief Published: 12 May 2016

Living Anywhere: Modular Housing Units

Rotterdam studio Kraaijvanger has designed a modular kitchen and bathroom unit

Dutch architectural practice Kraaijvanger has developed a modular living unit called The Hub that can turn almost any empty building into a home, so long as it has electricity and water connections.

The 15 sq m unit packs in the most important home comforts, including a kitchen, bathroom and toilet, as well as extras like a sound system, wi-fi connectivity and heating. The practice has also designed supplementary BedHubs, which contain a partitioned bedroom for privacy.

The units are made of colourful laminated blockboard and solid timber boards, and link to building services through connectors in the floor. They can be quickly assembled in anything from office blocks to warehouses, and easily taken apart when requirements change.

The Hub was the winning design in a competition run by Dutch housing association Havensteder, which explored future housing issues. The practice imagines that users will rent or lease rather than buy the units, which could be connected together in empty spaces to create multiple occupancies in response to housing shortages or refugee crises, for example.

The way we live domestically is changing, and brands need to adapt to cater for the families and co-occupiers of the future – something covered extensively in our Modern Family Macro Trend. For more on transformative product design with flexibility at its core, see Design Democracy: Shift. Look to our recent report Home Improvement: Refreshing DIY for more developments enabling homeowners to customise and revamp their spaces.