Boiled down to the basics, a dwelling requires facilities for cooking, washing, and sleeping. Rotterdam-based architecture firm Kraaijvanger appears to be sticking closely to that margin with this prototype. Their creation, De Hub, is a modular unit that can be added to empty apartments to provide these basic functions.
Easy to assemble and dismantle, the minimalist De Hub contains a kitchen, a bathroom, and a toilet, plus a heating unit, a sound system, and an internet connection.
The first Hub, installed in Rotterdam, has so far been a success. Constructed using blockboard and solid-core board, and secured with Lamello hardware, the Hub sources utilities like water and electricity through piping and wiring in the floor below. De Hub originated as the winning submission to a local Rotterdam housing association‘s “how will we live in the future?” competition.
In one possible scheme for these units, the firm may encourage clients to rent modules instead of purchasing them outright. This essentially lets users borrow the necessities of dwelling without buying an actual home. The modules can subsequently be restored and made ready for reuse elsewhere.
Supplementary hubs, such as the “Bedhub,” can fill additional space. Kraaijvanger is also considering designing other Hubs, including a solar energy module and a hub for growing vegetables.
This prototype in Rotterdam remains to be the only unit in use; no others have been sold and no pricing scheme is in place. Kraaijvanger aims to improve their modular product before putting it on the market in the Netherlands.