We all need to live somewhere. And most people want to live in cities. But our cities are getting very full. To fit more people we’re going to need to rethink our architectural strategies, as these new buildings–which range from the truly outlandish to the just slightly odd–show.
There are of course, a spectrum of the problems of cramped city living, and the people crammed into tiny apartments in Hong Kong are at the far end. Knowing that’s what happens when modern skyscrapers are jammed with people who can’t afford a place to live in their city makes buildings like this spacious apartment building that looks like a tree seem even more necessary.
Given that cities are running out of space and filling with people, many buildings this year sought out alternative options, either repurposing existing infrastructure to create living spaces or, in the case of a concept Chinese city and a floating hotel, moving off land entirely.
But going big isn’t the only option. Unlike the residents of the cramped Hong Kong apartments, better designed tiny living spaces might be the key to a growing urban population. And so designers are 3-D printing them, stacking them, and putting them in parking lots. They’re even filling them with fun trap doors.
The buildings we have aren’t adequate (last year’s trend was all about making them use less energy). It’s time to start replacing them, and these best buildings from the last year might be a start.
But they’re not some project in urban microhousing. These minuscule dwellings are the result of poor workers trying to find a place to live in the city’s booming real estate market.
With balconies budding like leaves, no one could complain for lack of outdoor space in this building in France.
The Solar Wind Downdraft Tower will generate huge amounts of power—if it’s ever built.
More concrete is manufactured than any other material on the planet. Luckily, the ERO robot has a healthy appetite.
Fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and a flexible living space, the SCADPad could be the way to creatively reuse the parking lot—one of a city’s most wasteful uses of space.
Apartments, stores, and even a school are planned as a way to reuse a set of dramatic concrete viaducts in southern Italy. From the entrance on top of the bridge, you hit the down button to descend.
China is running out of room for its growing urban population. This amazing design—an entire prefab city that floats on water—could magically create more space.
The hidden compartments in this amazing Madrid space start with a table that lowers from the ceiling and ends with a secret “tea room” in the bedroom.
They won’t win any beauty contest, but a Chinese company has figured out how to print practical homes from waste materials—all for half the cost of conventional construction.
In a new book, photographer Christoph Gielen shows us haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development.
The YMCA’s Y:Cube homes are portable, cheap, and can be built in an instant. Stack them up on top of each other and you have a whole community.
How’s this for being prepared? If water levels rise too much, this waterproof building design could actually float in the ocean.
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