Maybe your house or apartment needs a new kitchen. Skip the costly renovations. Just drop in a few of these multifunctional cubes–customizable boxes that can hide a bedroom, bathroom, office space, kitchen, seating, and storage, all in one. You simply open the right doors and turn the right hinges to reveal the functions you need.
The boxes are the work of Portuguese architects Odda (formerly Ooda), and they’re not just a cool concept. Modules were installed in two neglected, 19th-century buildings in Porto (there are an estimated 740,000 vacant houses across Portugal). The buildings were partially rehabbed to preserve their historical character. Then, new amenities were brought in via these prefabricated cubes–unapologetically monolithic structures, constructed from a steel skeleton, cement fiber board paneling, and fiber glass.
Odda isn’t the first to consider dropping a magical, modular box into apartment settings. Recently, MIT Media Lab revealed its CityHome project, a cube that tripled the usable space in a small apartment by stowing away the bed, bathroom, and kitchen when not in use.
If we can adjust to both the imposing aesthetic and the daily puzzle required to cook some eggs in the morning, we could probably save a lot of money and effort compared to razing buildings, ripping out kitchen cabinets, and replacing bathroom tiling again and again, just to keep up with the Joneses.