Vertical Village, Resarch Project, 2007-201. Vertical Village consists of stacked ready-made apartments, which the occupants can order by catalogue according to their economic means and individual wants. The individual apartments are factory manufactured using computer-driven production processes. The basic construction of the units consists of the standardized steel sections of normal shipping containers, making them effortlessly shippable anywhere in the world.
The individual living units vary in size and typology – allowing for multi-storey units and two-storey living rooms – and in the standards of the interior finishing. The units can be provided with their own terrace or a small balcony. The combining and joining of a number of units can create such spacious apartments that the occupant becomes no longer aware that it is made of containers. Nevertheless, the charm of industrial prefabrication should also remain evident. Most importantly, the factory manufacture of the highly equipped bathroom and kitchen unit means a huge reduction in costs compared to conventional house building. Building Typology In lengthways buildings the individual units rest in a concrete stand, rhythmically structured by the access core. The fewer the housing units sharing a lobby in the access core, the higher the other factors, such as the exclusivity of the individual apartments. This also produces the desired social mix. In high-rise buildings the units rest on cantilevered concrete arms, mounted on a central ‘concrete trunk’, giving the building something of the appearance of a tree. Communal spaces and shared terraces, but also garden-like exterior spaces, constitute an important ingredient in the individual buildings, reinforcing the interlocking of interior and exterior spaces.
The access cores, consisting of concrete stairs and lift shafts which also provide the static reinforcement, are produced locally and can take various forms, enabling a wide range of urban planning solutions. This allows for a high degree of flexibility and situational adaptability to specific local circumstances. In particular, polygonal cores can playfully adapt to non-orthogonal urban layouts. This programmatic elasticity distinguishes Vertical Village from the concepts all of its predecessors, which ultimately fell at the hurdle of their rigidity. Local Contextual Architecture and Social Means of Design The mixture of locally produced building elements and factory-made units is deliberate. The aim is to rehabilitate architecture as a social means of design, and to provide condensed apartment buildings, with humane qualities, at affordable prices. This aesthetic is one of intricacy, variability and diversity – an aesthetic of three-dimensional sculptural assembly that can be disassembled and reconstructed in new constellations.

Project: AFGH, project leader: Carlo Fumarola