Innovation That Matters

Pod Skyscraper design is a vending machine for apartments

Travel & Tourism

A totally new approach to building skyscrapers has been dreamt up that uses 3D printed reusable apartments.

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Malaysian architect Haseef Rafiei was given an honourable mention at this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition for his inventive Pod Skyscraper concept. Inspired by Japan’s culture of automation, robotics and compact living, Haseef’s design would see pod apartments being built by 3D printers and lowered down on top of each other by cranes.

It’s an idea that takes the Nagakin Capsule Tower of the 1970s (in which each apartment is a module component) into the future, as the Pod Skyscraper will be far more automated and give customers more range of customizability. Each pod will be manufactured on site using 3D printers on the top floor of the structure, then once built will drop down onto the frame. Anyone familiar with the game Connect Four might see some resemblance in the structure.

Any pods that are no longer being used, or have fallen into disrepair, will be taken apart and lifted back up to the top for repair or just flattened and stored away. Pods can be designed for any use, be it apartments, office space, a gym – the options would be endless, and customers would be able to buy bigger slots in the tower to create bigger and more complex pods.

It sounds ingenious and very much suited to Japan’s minimal-living culture. It also reminds us of the customizable All Go hotels and the stackable Pitch/Pitch sports fields. And while the Pod Skyscraper does sound like something Japan might embrace, would the rest of the world warm to completely automated housing?



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