With a rapid increase in population, there is an urgent need for the growth of more settlements. The process of undergoing a static infrastructure process leads to great pains. So, adapting the process of installing modular units has been trending for the past few years. Modular structures are an innovative blend of creativity and sustainability. It has certain advantages, from reducing time to increasing the quality and accuracy of the structure. Various architecture firms are trying to implement this idea of ‘modular cities’ to accommodate a large number of people. 

Here are some examples that follow the concept of modular cities 

What are modular cities? - Sheet1
Modular eco-city_©Bjarke Ingels Group

Modular eco-city

One of the biggest firms, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), proposed a vision for a floating city to accommodate 10,000. With a scalable strategy that transitions from communities to infinite towns, the city is designed to develop, transform, and adapt spontaneously over time. The two-hectare modular neighborhoods may house up to 300 people in a mixed-use facility for day and night living, working, and meeting. To establish a low center of gravity and resist wind, all erected structures are kept below seven stories, while a fan-like form provides shading for interior rooms and the public realm. The BIG scheme’s six communities surround a protected center port, with social, recreational, and commercial functions in the sheltered inner ring to encourage inhabitants to assemble and move around the community. The six settlements merge to become a metropolis of 10,000 people with a strong feeling of community and identity, with floating destinations including public squares, a market, and spiritual, learning, health, sports, and cultural facilities.

Student floating housing in Copenhagen harbor

What are modular cities? - Sheet2
Student Floating Housing_©Laurent de Carniere

These buoyant student halls of residence built by Bjarke Ingels’ studio for Copenhagen harbor are made of shipping containers placed on a floating platform. Urban Rigger is a concept that promises to provide low-cost housing for students in Copenhagen’s downtown area anchored in the harbor. The project by BIG consists of nine shipping containers stacked and positioned on a floating platform to create 15 studio flats on two levels. The blocks are slanted, with their ends overlapping, to enclose a shared garden in the mobile platform’s center, which intends to defend the housing from rising sea levels. Glazed greenhouse-like chambers link the containers. The corrugated metal blocks, which are painted brilliant aquamarine, have windows and doors punched in the ends and flanks. The three flat roofs that make up the upper floor each have a different purpose. One has a terrace, another has solar panels, and the last one has grass on it.

What are modular cities? - Sheet3
Student Floating Housing_©Laurent de Carniere

Garden City K66

This project was proposed by Slovenian architects OFIS arhitekti for a competition. The idea suggests two stacked volumes that encompass a diverse range of programs and are distributed as follows: -the volume’s base as public programs and offices -apartments on the top levels. The tower strip rises and falls following the city’s height restrictions, forming terraces and gardens. The public base volumes are divided into open squares, allowing for a dialogue between the exterior plaza and public programs and offices. The spaces are available, light, flowing, and easily accessible, with pleasant views and links to the surrounding area, including Strenia Square, Park, and roadways. Both volumes are organized into 10x10m floor-plan modules. A single volume is an excellent modular grid for all programs (housing, public, office, service, and garage), and façade panels and installation shafts are grouped in this grid structure. As a result, plans and quantities are flexible and adaptable, allowing program distribution to change in response to investor requests or market-needs changes.

What are modular cities? - Sheet4
Garden K66_©OFIS Arhitekti

Seeds of life

Garbage city, as it is known, is a city stacked high with the trash that appears uncontrollable. People began to accept the condition, which resulted in a massive amount of waste covering the entire city and the inability to carry garbage beyond the city. As a result of the numerous diseases and pollutants, one problem leads to another. The city is home to a group of homeless people known as Zabbaleen, who coexist with the trash by collecting, sorting, and reselling Cairo’s garbage. 

What are modular cities? - Sheet5
Seeds of Life_©Mekano Studio

Triangular modules

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Triangular modules_©Omega render

The noa* network of architecture has unveiled a prototype for a Centre for Culture and Community (CeCuCo). It questions the form flexibility takes, how nature plays a role in the project, and how far the architect’s role goes. The belief that a project only works when “nature is embedded in the project, in the belief that a project only works when people make it their own.” The center is a research project that looks at building flexible and multipurpose spaces without a set context, allowing people to decide, act, and move about inside the architecture. 

The triangle forms the basis of the project’s construction, which is repeated modularly in both plan and elevation. In the first scenario, the triangle module is inscribed in a 3×3 meter square, and in the second case, it is engraved in a 3×1.5 meter square. The geometric typology enables the center to expand or contract in response to the context’s spatial requirements and provides varied volumetric designs on an urban planning level.

Triangular modules_©Omega render


  • Stouhi, D. (2021, December 14). Noa* Network of Architecture Envisions Triangular Modules for Community and Culture Center. Archdaily, [online]. Retrieved from: https://www.archdaily.com/973566/noa-star-network-of-architecture-imagines-modular-prototype-of-center-for-culture-and-community
  • Mairs, J. (2016, September 22). BIG stacks shipping containers to create floating student housing in Copenhagen harbour. Dezeen, [online]. Retrieved from: https://www.dezeen.com/2016/09/22/big-bjarke-ingels-shipping-containers-floating-student-housing-urban-rigger-copenhagen/

Goral is inquisitive in nature because she thinks that the only way to reach to know the secret of the world, is by asking questions. Since she is a keen observer, noting down her observations has led her into the world of creative writing.

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