grimshaw and concrete valley develop innovative system of modular water dwellings

grimshaw and concrete valley develop innovative system of modular water dwellings

as a reaction to the growing risks of climate change and the challenges faced by increasing urbanization, grimshaw and dutch manufacturing specialists concrete valley have developed an innovative design for a system of modular water dwellings. the habitats are imagined as a potential solution to high land values by offering affordable accommodation beyond the constraints of land-based construction, and resilient to the looming threat of flooding from rising sea-levels. 

grimshaw and concrete valley develop innovative system of modular water dwellings



‘in facing the realities of global transformations, be they climate change, increased urbanisation or reduced resources, it is critical that architects and designers respond to these concerns in a variety of ways,’ jorrin ten have, associate principal at grimshaw says. ‘by addressing specific challenges confronting current and future populations, the modular water dwellings offer an affordable, sustainable and efficient alternative for safe and desirable housing.’


the modular water dwellings incorporate standardized components that can be efficiently manufactured, while still allowing for a variety of internal layouts to meet occupants’ personal requirements. furthermore, the homes can be orientated in different ways to best respond to its site, local conditions, light sources and views. they also maximize the use of durable and non-corroding materials, including concrete and glass, ensuring a long design lifespan.

grimshaw and concrete valley develop innovative system of modular water dwellings



meanwhile, the water dwellings use minimal energy with their well-insulated and shaded lower pontoons and upper stories. energy is provided by solar roof panels and heat exchangers built into base boxes below the waterline. by developing a communal energy supply, the water dwellings’ environmental efficiency has the potential to achieve near zero energy use.


the design also prioritizes the experience of the inhabitants, providing a close connection to nature through the proximity to water and encouraging an active lifestyle. the project seeks to further promote a strong sense community through shared spatial resources, such as floating gardens and terraces.

grimshaw and concrete valley develop innovative system of modular water dwellings



the development of the concept brings together grimshaw’s tradition of experimentation and design innovation with concrete valley’s expertise in manufacturing high-quality, durable materials. concrete valley’s manufacturing facility is situated on a main industrial waterway in the netherlands, allowing the dwellings to be transported whole along the water — thus removing the need for site assembly and reducing the energy of construction. grimshaw and concrete valley have both committed to producing prototypes to test and refine the concept, with the aim of bringing the modular water dwellings to the market as a high-quality product available to all.

grimshaw and concrete valley develop innovative system of modular water dwellings



the modular water dwellings has been shortlisted for the 2019 world architecture festival (WAF) awards, in the ‘future project – experimental’ category



project info: 


name: modular water dwellings

architect: grimshaw architects

manufacturing specialists: concrete valley

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