A new project calls for narrow residential units that could fit in the vacant space between existing buildings.
The project, known as Live Between Buildings, was designed by Danish architects Mateusz Mastalski and Ole Robin Storjohann for the New Vision of Loft 2 Competition organized by roof window manufacturing company Fakro.
The micro-home apartments took first place in the competition. The jury highlighted the way the simple yet innovative idea of creating small infill dwellings in empty and wasted spaces between existing buildings offers several models for different traditional housing types in cities all around the world.
“The plan can be realized entirely out of roof windows (with some technical adjustments) and offers an innovative idea for using empty spaces in urban fabric. The possibility of shapes is endless. The project was very beautifully drawn and communicated on a single sheet, the section describing both the architectural idea and the exciting occupation of the proposed building,” the jury said.
Live Between Buildings fulfilled the competition’s brief due to its innovative use of products and research, functionality, timelessness, sustainability, and original features.
The idea offers exciting leads for further research on the use of windows and – most importantly – on the maximisation of empty spaces in major cities. It also provides a unique architectural vision and a new urban lifestyle.
Its creators described the project as “a new way of living in the city."
"Infills between existing buildings that consist almost entirely of Fakro window technology enable a life hyper-close to nature and city life, while on the same time exploiting the qualities of the already existing blind walls of the city,” they said. “With minimal footprint and facade surface, but a maximum of living quality, the Live Between Buildings project contributes to a denser, more sustainable city of the future."
Only 1.52 metres wide, the homes can be built in a variety of forms to adapt to the cultural context of - and existing buildings in - dense cities such as Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Oslo, New York, Tokyo and other urban centres.
“We have pinpointed some possible building sites in cities around the world. Using the different roofwindows available from Fakro, a wide variety of housing typologies is possible, thereby reacting to the context and culture of the specific urban setting,” said Mastalski and Storjohann.
Melbourne's narrow lanes could serve as an ideal location for a project of this type.