TOP 10 housing projects of 2014




in looking back on the past year, we notice many multi-unit housing complexes that at their basis seek to reorganize and improve the conventions of our of our communities. some of which aim to integrate increased greenery and daylight into the living environment, while others combine with dissimilar program types to create new and more dense urban conditions. alternatively, designers have conceived fresh visions on affordable dwellings as well as disaster relief shelters. see below for our selection for the TOP 10 housing project stories of 2014.







the interlace by OMA / ole scheeren


photo © iwan baan




the interlace‘ apartment complex opened its door to residents this past year, as designed by former partner of OMA, ole scheeren. the development is located in singapora, and contrary to a typical complex of isolated towers, is made up of 31 apartment blocks that are horizontally oriented and six storeys in height. the scheme reinterprets concepts of contemporary living, and interconnects an extensive and integrated network of private and communal spaces through its disparate volumes producing improved circulation and a less-isolated residential environment.







bosco verticale by stefano boeri

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

photo © paolo sacchi




‘bosco verticale’, designed by architect stefano boeri, opened its doors to residents in autumn 2014, five years after construction started in milan’s emerging porta nuova district. the project, which translates in english as ‘vertical forest’, is comprised of two landscaped towers containing 113 apartments in total which offer garden balconies and expansive views across the city. the scheme contains 780 planted trees and seeks to increase the site’s biodiversity, which may have been adversely affected from the project’s construction.







markthal by MVRDV

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

photo © ossip van duivenbode




rotterdam’s markthal combines two dissimilar program types – composed as a housing building which arches over an indoor market hall. designed by architecture office MVRDV, the facility offers public access for eating, drinking, and shopping, while also accommodating 228 apartments of varying size, while consistently featuring externally facing balconies. additionally, the living units offer a view inward to the market hall, with windows made of sound and smell proof triple glazing to block these undesired senses.







one central park by jean nouvel

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

photo © murray fredericks




forming the centerpiece of sydney’s carlton & united brewery development, ‘one central park‘ climbs to a height of 116 meters, boasting what has been referred to as ‘the world’s tallest vertical garden’. designed by french architect jean nouvel, the scheme is composed of two towers – 16 and 33 levels respectively – that rise above a four storey retail podium. the mixed-use project, which has been developed in collaboration with local practice PTW architects, provides the australian city with 563 apartment units, offering high-end living at the heart of the urban center.







ZAC du coteau by ecdm

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

photo © benoit fougeirol




ecdm architectes conceived the two housing structures of ‘ZAC du coteau’ with visually and functionally distinctive curving balcony layouts. located in arcueil, france, each floor plate extends beyond the building volume with undulating geometry, creating up to 3.2 meter cantilevers for large patios off of each apartment. this produces an identifying dynamic overall form, while offering the residents ample outdoor space. the complex is made up of 101 owned-townhouses and 40 social-housing units.







citylife by zaha hadid

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

photo © alberto fanelli




forming one part of the residential district of milan’s ongoing citylife project, zaha hadid‘s residences opened their doors this past year to occupants. comprised of seven smooth and curving structures, the apartments range from 5 to 14 storeys, providing visual variance and engagement. the distinctive architectural elements include a serpentine movement of the balconies and the profile of the roofs, which provide a soft and elegant shape for all of the top-floor penthouses, complete with extensive covered terraces.







urban post-disaster housing prototype by garrison architects

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

photo © andrew rugge/archphoto




in response to an increasing concern for natural catastrophes, garrison architects developed a modular post-disaster housing prototype for the new york city office of emergency management. the multistory and multifamily prefabricated units can be deployed in less than 15 hours, in various configurations depending on the specific urban conditions. the scheme provides 1- and 3- bedroom configurations, while always featuring a living area, balcony, bathroom, fully-equipped kitchen, and storage space.







broadway housing by kevin daly architects

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

photo © iwan baan




the broadway housing in santa monica, designed by kevin daly architects, provides affordable living to families that work on the westside of los angeles, while prioritizing environmental and economical sustainability. the structures feature repeated units, and are connected by bridges of wood-slat guardrails that encircle a central shared courtyard. all of the dwellings face this outdoor space, which preserves a cluster of existing trees, while every room in each unit has access to daylight and ventilation.







dwellings in toulouse by mateo arquitectura

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

photo © adrià goula




the housing complex ‘dwellings in toulouse’ is conceived as a collection of four detached buildings, with the intent of reducing the site’s scale to one which is appropriate as a domestic setting. designed by spanish firm mateo arquitectura, the structures are unified as a set through their exterior finishes and the articulation of balcony forms, but also distinguished through nuances based on their unique parameters. the façades have been planned to express particular craftsmanships in brick – with varying patterns of light and dark tones – as well as wood.







nanjing zendai himalayas center by MAD architects

top 10 housing 2014 designboom

image © MAD architects




in looking to the future, we also include MAD architects’ project, the ‘nanjing zendai himalayas center.’ the metropolis-scaled plan includes an overall building area of 560,000 sqm including many housing towers and a village-like community of low buildings. gardens and waterways meander through the entirety of the site, with an aim to promote the traditional chinese ethos of shanshui: an achieved spiritual harmony between nature and humanity. the complex is currently under construction, and estimated to be completed in 2017.