Presentation given in 5th Annual Symposium of Architectural Research: Architecture and resilience. (August 28-30, 2013 in Tampere, Finland)
Modular building – a resident-centric and multiform housing construction model?
The premise of this study is a hypothesis of modular construction that enables the development of resident-centric and multiform residential buildings and apartments. The study is related to research projects where the possibilities inherent in modular multi-storey construction are clarified. These possibilities enable the adding of versatility to the current residential construction typology.
The development potential of modular construction lies in the possibility it presents to shorten construction time and increase quality. According to popular misconception, modular construction is said to impose limitations on architectural design, leading to monotonous or 'traditional-only' residential buildings. Another alleged challenge to modular construction is the belief that it can poorly address the specifications of commissioning parties or users. The study examines the potential included in the industrial serial production of modules. Serial-customized modules may be used to create diverse apartments on the smaller scale and varying building types according to the surrounding environment on the larger scale.
The subject is approached by means of theoretical study and established architectural design. The aspects of resident-centric and multiform residential construction are handled for example from the viewpoint of apartments that are flexible in space arrangement and size. Different combinations of modules, terracing and the crossing of openings with modules enable rarely used mass solutions and apartment-specific outdoor areas in multi-story construction. Also, a porous relationship between private, semi-public and public spaces are examined on both building and city scales. Achieving highlighted goals is a prerequisite to modular construction's ability to meet the challenges of sustainable construction at ecological, economic, and social levels.