Haseef Rafiei, Malaysian architecture student came up with a fundamental idea for futuristic housing: a “vending machine” skyscraper that 3D prints its own dwellings. Rafiei’s Pod Skyscraper design has received an honorable mention at the eVolo Skyscraper Competition.
Vending machines are a blessing when the weather is too hot outside or when you are just craving for a drink at the train station or just have a quick craving for sugary stuff at work. But no one would imagine themselves buying their new home that comes out straight away from a vending machine. According to Haseef Rafiei, the young architect the upcoming version of the skyscrapers will be able to function like a vending machine. There would be 3D printed homes that would come out from a giant 3D printer, which will be placed on the top floor and the lowering of them in place would be done with the help of cranes. Rafiiei calls the radical housing concept as “Pod Skyscraper”, it might sound like it’s from future whereas it is deeply influenced by a 1972 architectural design.
The Makagin Capsule Tower under a threat of demolition
The Makagin Capsule Tower, which is a combination of both residents and office building that is located in Tokyo. The building was designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa and contains 140 modular “capsules”, which are bolted on to one of the two main shafts, which form the center of the building. The building is equipped with a cult status but it has been under a threat of demolition for few years.
Just like Kuokawa Capsule Tower, the Pod Skyscraper also puts more focus on modularity and interchangeability. According to Rafiei few “pods”, each of them contains basic living facilities can be 3D printed and they can be joined together for forming bigger houses, offices and commercial buildings. The 1972 Capsule also relies on the same principle: capsules can be joined side by side for forming a larger space and giving occupiers the flexibility of deciding the space for buying or renting.
Modularity of the Pod Skyscraper follows an architectural heritage
But while the modularity of the Pod Skyscraper follows an architectural heritage, its method of self-construction does not: Rafiei says that each “pod” of the building could be manufactured on site by a giant construction 3D printer, before being lowered into position using cranes.
While the modularity of the Pod Skyscraper follows an architectural heritage but its method of self-construction does nor. Rafiei stated that each “Pod” of the building can be manufactured right away on the site by a giant 3D printer before it is lowered into position using cranes.
But an innovation like this would surely need a large amount of additive manufacturing technology, which should be far more advanced than todays. But the question is will it be able to work? Everyone is in doubt, but the 3D printed housing and construction technology is growing at a fast rate.
According to Rafiei, his high-concept 3D printable skyscraper would also be part of a “closed loop” system, in which disused or faulty pods could be dismantled, repaired, and recycled. Their components could then be fed back into the 3D printer to be made into new pods.
Rafiei stated that his highly advanced concept of 3D printable skyscrapers will be the part of “closed loop” system, which would dismantle, repair or recycle the disused or faulty pod. The components will be then fed back into the 3D printer for making new pods.
The Pod Skyscraper was honored with a mention at the 2017 eVolo Skyscraper Competition few weeks ago, stating that the design is not as crazy as it seems. The young architect is currently completing his RIBA part II at the Manchester School of Architecture.