‘Future Hybrid High-rise Commune’



Grand Challenge: Sustainable Built Environment

Research Team 

Principal Investigators:
Michael Budig
Oliver Heckmann

Research Assistants:
Ray CHERN Xi Cheng, Markus Matthias HUDERT, Amanda NG Qi Boon, LOO Jun Wen, Clement LORK, Zack XUEREB CONTI

Lynette Cheah, ESD/SUTD 
Colin Yip, Arup Singapore

Richard De Neufville


‘Future Hybrid High-rise Commune’

The design research developed the ‘Future Hybrid High-rise Commune’ as a generic high-rise type , that is also applied as backbone to develop the computational tools and used for comparative case-studies.  The polyvalent layouts developed in earlier research allow to accommodate extremely diversifying models of co-habitation and to enable adapting, re-sizing and re-programming of units beyond mere housing with minimal changes of the hardware. The design investigates variable and hybrid material- and construction systems that enable circular design strategies and the use of regenerative materials such as timber from South East Asian resources. The design is currently exhibited at the Singapore Pavilion ‘To Gather’ at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021 ‘How will we live together’

“With intensifying urban growth, shifting demographics and increasing sharing cultures in digital domains, the physical urban grounds are no more the sole territories for social urban practice and joint decision-making. Such urban grounds get tilted and extended ever more into a vertical and digital dimension. Future hybrid high-rise communes must be entirely open to adapt to and evolve with demographic, social and communal diversities and dynamics of ever more unpredictable futures. The design study proposes alternative models for inclusive high-rise housing that could be applied as generic templates across multiple contexts. Following Habraken’s Open Building concept, a permanent ‘Support Structure’ will be inhabited with a flexible ‘Infill Structure’, made of timber modules…”  

“…Polyvalent unit ribbons have been developed as a highly adaptable dwelling model that goes beyond the socio-spatial conventions of ‘units’ as hermetic entities. The generic layouts allow diverse and inclusive urban habitats. The flexibility will enable different forms of occupation: User-driven scenarios will organically evolve, can be short- or long-term and easily shift from one setting to another: Multiple forms of co-habitation emerge next to work-live scenarios, co-working offices and workshops. Project-based occupations hosting collaborators are neighbours of communal spheres for shared activities and mutual support. Interface spheres negotiate adaptive boundaries between public and private, with domains expanding into each other if desired…” 

“…The optimistic application of digital platforms is an opportunity to avoid urban anonymity by merging physical and digital encounter, to experience the urban vibrancy of vertical communities both physically and digitally. The vision is to complement buildings with a virtual mirror, taking digital representations of its spatial structure as a canvas for interactive and mutually negotiated occupations and collaborations, for the sharing of spaces, expertise, commodities and service.”