Parasitic architecture, defined as an additional structure attached to an already existing larger structure that borrows utilities from the host structure. This architectural approach has helped to resolve many urban community problems and gaps like unaffordable rents, unavailability of space, and, also provide respite from the heat generated due to overcrowding in the urban area. Some examples of parasites in architecture consist of parasitic pods, extensions, installations, apartments and interventions that depend on host structures. The parasite architecture exhibits an unusually high profile and visibility and, such installations on a building portrays a functional use of the space surrounding it or, is employed in cases undefined and narrow spaces and, is generally considered as an intrusion into the public realm, hence justifying the name.

Here is a list of 10 Examples of Parasitic Architecture around the World

1. The Cube, Brussels, Belgium

The Cube is a restaurant designed in the form of a modular pavilion that can be easily attached to and detached from any building. The module designed by Park ass is appropriate for all kinds of climatic conditions and geography. The large and open interiors of the restaurant feature an open plan kitchen and have one big dining table that can be moved by lifting it to the ceiling and create a lounge area that can be used when people are not dining.

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2. Ipervasi, Nicosia, Cyprus

The Ipervasi was designed by the architects Constantinos Kalisperas and Niko Kourouissis using an old telecommunications UN trailer found in Nicosia Cyprus. The designers engraved the resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations on Cyprus on the underside of the flooring of the structure projects which was projected on the sidewalk employing a backlit reflective surface.

The projection of the numbers enables people to interact with the structure without interrupting the flow of light from the surface. The industrial and rusty looking container protruding out of a structure in a nearly dilapidated street that is easily visible to people. The structure was built as a metaphor of the ongoing revolution in Cyprus against the crisis of panic, uncertainty and redeployment of correlations and forces.

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3. Parasitic CN Tower, Canada

The Quadrangle has proposed a design for wooden parasitic pods that will be attached to the CN tower. Each pod comprises a floor and a ceiling and side walls containing trusses which provide insulation. The modular pods allow for a variety of configurations that can enable various lifestyles and personal choices. 

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4. Homes for the Homeless, UK

Architect James Furzer has designed modular temporary shelters for the homeless attached freestanding on the sides of existing structures and, he also initiated a campaign on a crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to finance the prototype.

The lightweight pods consist of a sleeping platform made of timber and a fold-down seating, which can be affixed to the external walls of existing buildings in London to create a series of overnight refuges.

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5. Havre 77, Mexico

The parasite or prosthesis located on top of the old three storey brick house was developed by Francisco Pardo and Julio Amezcua into a co-working space. The parasite structure is made of steel and concrete and consists of ample glazing and overlooks the central courtyard of the residence.

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Havre 77 © www.pinterest.com/
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Havre 77 ©www.pinterest.com/

6. The Pocket of Active Resistance, France

The Pocket of Active Resistance, designed by Stephen Malka, is a modular housing system affixed to the interior walls of Arche de la Défense that evolves organically. The shelters are attached to the interior walls of the building using ramps and scaffolding and these modules join together to create bigger homes. They look a bit rustic and toylike due to its construction using recycled materials, and each module would cost around 3000 Euros.

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7. Slow Uprising, Italy

The Slow Uprising settlement was established by the Ja Studio Inc. under an Italian highway. The Ja Studio Inc has put forth a proposal to reuse a decommissioned highway innovatively by constructing shelter on sloping ramps under the bridge. The settlement helps establish connections between major nodes of the city, above deep valleys and hairpin roads.

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8. Architects’ Prefab Parasite

Architects’ Prefab parasite developed by Australian architect Lana Calder was completely designed using a parametric digital modelling system. All the components of the parasite structure consist of the structural system, facade, cladding, floor levels and stairs are combined and computed into a single digital model. The parametric digital modelling assists in offering dynamism for the parasite to adapt to the various locations it could potentially occupy.

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9. Oase No.7

Oase No. 7 was developed as part of the Documenta 5 Exhibition that happened in Kassel, in the year 1972. 

The Oase No. 7 was placed in front of the main facade on the Fridericianum Museum in Kassel Germany. It comprises a transparent sphere with a diameter of 8 metres and a ramp constructed of standard tubular steel sections which project outwards through the window from the interiors of the building into the transparent sphere. A tubular steel ring was attached to the ramp, at a short distance from the façade. The ring acts as the external support for the PVC foil shell that helps inflate the sphere when inflated using an air pump.

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10. The Parasite Office, Moscow

The Parasite office located in Moscow was designed by Za Bor architects in the year 2011. The designers have tried to employ inhabited areas of the city and, the freestanding parasite structure is placed in a narrow passageway between the buildings and, it symbolizes an organic evolution in joining up the two separate buildings on either side.

The Parasite Office, Moscow Sheet1
The Parasite Office © www.archdaily.com
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The Parasite Office © www.archdaily.com
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The Parasite Office © www.archdaily.com
Gopika Gopan
Author

Gopika Gopan is an Interior Designer who believes every building has a story to tell and is on a mission to narrate as many stories as possible. She believes architecture is the mirror of society and, she hopes to make a change in the world with her words and designs.

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