A 3D printing ‘Tetris’ design tower could counteract Tokyo's housing shortage

By Catherine Rowell

With a rising population, Tokyo is one of the busiest cities in the world. Housing is tight, with an ever-increasing number of skyscrapers built to counteract the growing housing shortage, which is creating a number of issues within the Japanese capital.

However, a new skyscraper proposal by architect Haseef Rafiei has been unveiled at the eVolo’s 2017 Skyscraper Competition. Rafiei has bought the Japanese love for vending machines to life, where the tower would be under continual construction and counteract the housing shortage, bringing the concept of wabi-sabi (finding beauty in the imperfect or incomplete) to the forefront of the unique build, adapting over time.

The skyscraper would become a home dispenser, 3D printing modular apartments from a printer, which would be installed at the top of the building and can be personalised for customer requirements, even when completed, or purchase additional pods if required. This enables residents to gain additional rooms or take some away, and can be purchased immediately.  After building on site, reducing costs, the automated system would calculate the positioning of the pod and transport it via a crane, which will plug into the current structure. These dwellings can also be moved after they have been positioned, creating a complete customised build.

The build would continually grow upwards to counteract the housing shortage. As the building rises, the printer also rises. A hydraulic system pumps the needed construction materials up to the printer. In terms of sustainability and recycled materials, any vacant or abandoned pods will be able to be dismantled and bought back to the printer to reuse.

Not only a skyscraper to counteract the housing shortage, the building would also incorporate offices for corporate businesses, enabling economic growth.


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