Turning an abandoned warehouse into a home could be as easy as installing a small cube equipped with basic plumbing. The Rotterdam-based architects at Kraaijvanger created the Hub to turn empty buildings into affordable housing.
Clocking in at a little more than 160 square feet, the compact red-and-white cube makes turning any existing space into a livable home cheap and simple. It hooks up to existing water mains through a single point in the floor, providing a bathroom and kitchen with minimal plumbing installation. It also has heating, an Internet hook-up, and a sound system—pretty much everything you’d need to make a non-residential building livable. Just add some furniture, and you have a home.
A second modular design provides a matching bedroom, if you don’t just want to throw your bed up behind a screen.
Similar schemes could be a boon to cities where real estate isn't necessarily scarce, but affordable housing is. It’s expensive to turn a building designed for another use into apartment units, but the Hub makes it that much easier and quicker to put unused space to residential use. Since it really is just a kitchen and a bathroom, it could also be used as an addendum to warehouses and other sparse workspaces where employees still need some basic amenities during the workday.
Construction on the units began this year in Rotterdam, with the first installed in the city’s Zomerhofkwartier district. The unit was conceptualized for a local housing association as part of a competition to design futuristic housing, and the architects want to offer it up to residents to lease or rent. It’s made to be easily dismantled, so it’s relatively easy to pack up and move, to turn that empty building back into an office or warehouse again.
All images courtesy Kraaijvanger