taking the challenge in London
With “Urban Rug” we are among the winners of the Urban Challenge and thus also a member of the expert panel of the “Urban Task Force” in London. We are looking forward to being active in London again!
WAN – Urban Challenge in London.
High density living in an urban environment should not mean having to give up on the qualities of a local neighbourhood, small streets and squares, or a private patio, courtyard or terrace.
As part of an ongoing academic research in cooperation with various industrial partners, this proposal creates a high density urban settlement, which balances public and private life, by using modular building systems assembled in such a way that it knits a dense urban fabric to form, what we have called, an “urban rug”.
Prefabricated units of approximately 3×6 meters have been developed in collaboration with an industrial partner. These units are produced in a controlled environment to reassure high tech factory standards that get the most out of the sustainable building materials. Fully fitted out, they are assembled on site, thus reducing construction costs and building time.
These units are arranged on a grid matrix, where the position of each entity defines enclosed private outdoor spaces like patios, courtyards and terraces. At the same time, this intelligent assembly provides windows in all directions, allowing sunlight to enter the interior spaces all day long. This arrangement reinterprets and enhances the terraced house for the 21st century. The assembly can be copied and mirrored along the blind walls in order to reinforce the compactness of the rug, enhancing spatial density as well as reducing heating costs.
Positioned along a hierarchy of pedestrian and cycling streets, the units are adjoined with sheltered platforms and stairs. Like a mews, this system appreciates the quality of the shared space, while at the same time reduces the building costs by eliminating the need for hallways, elevators and other expensive technical equipment. Since every unit has an articulated entrance via a semi private space on the local street, it allows the inhabitants to identify with their home and surrounding. Niches in front of the entrance widen up to small squares, and provide space to meet with neighbours on an informal basis. “Our house, in the middle of our street.”
Circulation roads and urban squares follow the modular system of the urban rug, and create larger meeting areas in the settlement structure. The optimal diversity of private and shared space reaches a density expressed in a floor area ratio of approximately 1.2, which balances an efficient and responsible land use with a high standard of living quality. Parking is arranged on the fringes of the development or underground, basements are optional.
Thanks to the modular flexibility, a multitude of units for a multitude of inhabitants can be offered in this urban rug, in order to knit a fabric as diverse as society itself.