Modular Village

This project, the modular village, refuses to take the hope of community and home ownership away. It acknowledges that individuals leading temporary existence also have a need to belong and to create their own sense of belonging. Karratha, 1,535 kilometres north of Perth and 850 kilometres south of Broome in Australia's west has long been a mining town. In existence since the 1960s, Karratha to this day continues to grow its population and expand its suburbs and villages. It is the location for the first settlement of the modular community. A new village, the modular village, can be created using 200 containers to house miners and non-miners. The containers, stacked in various shapes, widths and heights will result in voids, perfect spaces for the use of the individual and the community.

The repetition of modules in various forms is to generate a lively neighbourhood, instead of multiplying the boredom. Schools, row homes, villas, restaurants and shops can all be created with a playful stacking of the one form, there is room for the private or individual to participate and also for communal ownership. Inside the modules are all that is needed for a contemporary and comfortable home and outside the low-cost, simply constructed structures provide opportunities to expand into the void.

The long exalted Void of architecture can in the modular village grow life and society for the short and long term. Individuals can make use of the voids to add an extra room for a new addition to the family, greens space or create a balcony. The village can use the voids to create growing and evolving environment - communal gardens reducing the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables or interstitial open space as markets or terraces, playgrounds for their families or sporting teams.

The juxtaposition of the location's abundant mineral resources against the diminishing ability for community self-sufficiency is addressed in the capture of the natural elements of sun, rain and wind. The modular village creates structures that can harvest energy for the village's self-sufficiency: a surplus of heat or energy created in one structure is distributed for use by all and rain water collected on the roof of another structure is purified and added to the village's water supply. The visibility of these every day examples will create a knowledge base to be shared with existing and new residents.


A Company (Oliver Schütte, José Pablo González, Jorge Chinchilla Paniagua, José Chaves Arce) in collaboration with XCOOP (Cristina Cassandra Murphy, Andrea Bertassi) and Hausi Abdul-Karim

Location: Karratha, Australia

Status: Concept Design

Year: 2012