dima
  • [concept] Urban Flow-Housing

    [May 2018 - Atelier CPU / Manchester School of Architecture - Thesis Project] Can a modular urban architecture adapt to and stabilise value cycles resulting from variations in residential and commercial supply and demand for space? Flow-Housing is a proposal to subvert the dominant land-value and supply-driven mode of production of living and working spaces in the city, by the implementation of a standardised prefabricated module system. The module, while static, is designed to efficiently and effectively respond to enables changes in property demand, which would otherwise result in prices rising and falling, adding to the cycle of boom and bust that has afflicted developed cities in the past. The site, sandwiched between the Brunswick Estate and the Oxford Road Corridor was targeted as a clear break between a zone of low-rise, low-value and low-capacity social housing district and the burgeoning urban-scale institutional developments inside the development zone. Traditional development, responding to site value may lead to dense and inflexible residential development consisting of high rise flats or at best dense slab-block hybrids. These types have been shown to accelerate turn-over of an urban population, such that even if housing association tenants were rehoused on site, the affordable scales possible would not suit their needs for longer term. Flow-Housing enables equivalent densities anywhere between studio flats or HMO, and 4 bedroom maisonettes with ancillary spaces, subject to the development style and budget of the client. Built using principles of ‘system stacking’ the modules accommodate change of ownership, change of use and incremental repair and renovation, avoiding where possible the requirement for whole-site works and allowing embodied carbon to be contained inside the building for as long as possible.