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Sci-fi Becomes Reality In Manhattan's Modular Housing Initiative

· Archipon

When I first came across this development I dismissed it as bunch of bland, boring boxes, cobbled together like lego, and without all the fun and creativity.

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But, if you look beyond the exterior (yes, I still find it rather dull) and focus instead on what they're trying to achieve, it becomes quite interesting. An experiment, even. Perhaps we can find something exciting bubbling just beneath the surface of the designer's test tube.

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The project has been appropriately dubbed The Stack. It's set on a relatively small plot in Manhattan, with limited elbow room for construction. This brings us to the first interesting aspect of modular housing: off-site construction.

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The units were able to be prefabricated off-site under factory consitions. This leads to a host of advantages, including a faster construction schedule. In this case, the designers estimate the time taken for completion was reduced by 6 months.

As we all know, time is money. Cutting 6 months off the schedule will ultimately lead to savings in plant hire, labor etc. That's not all though. Building the modules off-site in factory conditions should lead to a better-built end product.

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If the overall project cost is reduced, we could argue that this should translate to a reduced purchase price for the homes. This isn't always the case, but in The Stack, it's what the designers set out to achieve.

The Stack addresses the need for moderate-income and affordable housing in Manhattan... It is a pilot project for developing a quality and economically viable housing solution to strategically rebuilding and filling gaps in outmoded housing infrastructure in the city.
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The next interesting aspect of this project is the layout of the homes themselves. The floor plans for each 1, 2, and 3-bed apartment is relatively modest. This makes sense. We're not looking to create showcase units for multi-millionaire YouTubes, but functional, well-proportioned, homes for everyday people.

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This is the first project of it's kind in Manhattan. The last interesting aspect of this test tube, is whether or not the construction methods here will gain traction. Someday we might all be living in a legoblock house.

Project by Gluck+. More on their website.

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