It is no surprise that nowadays many architects and designers are rethinking the way houses are built, particularly after the pandemic, which ultimately shed the light on our needs for comfort, flexibility, and practicality inside our homes. Moreover, the constant challenge of sustainability is another factor that is putting into question the most adaptable and ecological methods of designing residential units and construction methods, that will not compromise the future of the planet. It is within this flow of thought that Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, in cooperation with Roni Bahar (former WeWork executive) and Nick Chim (former Sidewalk Labs head) decided to found Nabr, a house design company based in Silicon Valley, which focuses on building a set of modular and affordable homes, ones which perfectly accommodate the resident’s needs and their environments.
In his YouTube interview, where Ingels shares his vision and motive about Nabr, he focuses on the importance of taking advantage of the manufacturing and mass-production processes to find a new and practical way to build our homes, using the opportunities that modular design grants us as a concept. He states that despite house design getting more and more expensive, the built quality is degenerating and going lower. To his belief, all houses and concepts seem nowadays repetitive and end up with similar-looking results, in contrast with the diversity of people and their subjective tastes. This is where Nabr’s main idea comes from, creating diversity through the different combinations that modularity offers while letting the users co-design the houses themselves. In addition to that, the main point of focus of Nabr will be the well-being of the residents. Therefore, placing the user at the center of the architecture will succeed in making everybody feel at home and comfortable, and will make the architecture adapt to the needs of the users and the environment and not the other way around.
In addition to putting the users at the centre of how the architecture will function and be assembled, Nabr takes into consideration the flexibility that the residents should be offered when it comes to the ownership of their homes. The company offers them a wide range of options, from renting to buying with special financial plans, from which the individuals can choose the one that fits their needs and situation best.
Architecture of the Future
Building for the future of the planet and humanity means as well taking advantage of the opportunities in the world of technology, to make the intended architecture even better than envisioned. It is from this perspective that Bjarke Ingels incorporates into Nabr an app-based system that will help control the climate, the light, the sound, the temperature, and so on in the homes, according to the residents’ immediate needs. The project, aside from the harmonious designing concept it is based on, is therefore centralized around technology, making the living experience more futuristic than any achieved this far. Nabr is giving form to the future of housing, through the innovation of every single step of the process, taking into deep consideration the users, the community, and the planet.
Harmony with Nature
Every unit of this modular project presents a generous outdoor space, reinforcing the residents’ connection to nature and the surroundings, as well as providing them with privacy and well-being. The interiors of the units are generously lit and spacious, in addition to being designed upon the lifestyle of each individual. Every building of this project-to-be will be qualified as eco-friendly, to the citizens and the neighbourhood, through carbon-neutral operations and the use of thoughtfully sourced sustainable materials.