The MU50 (Modular Unit) is an adaptable, small footprint home, made from reusable and recyclable materials and can be adapted to a variety of uses and differing site conditions.
Architects TEKE Architects Office designed a system of modular units which can create anything from a small meditation space to a larger home. The building in these photos is made up of three modules – the structural frame, the enclosure and the service pod (housing the kitchen, bathroom and storage) and can be adapted to suit the weather conditions through the gorgeous operable timber shades.
The module elements were designed to be constructed in reusable, recyclable materials which are readily available for any builder. The aim being that every builder is to source local materials thus lowering the building’s carbon footprint and cost by keeping transportation to a minimum. It’s fantastic to see that more and more architects and designers are considering the impact their buildings have all the way through from construction phase to their end of life. Let’s hope this becomes the new building norm for our future.
You’ll see that the facade of the building is almost entirely made up of glazed windows and doors, allowing for the house to be cooled in the warmer months by efficient cross flow ventilation. The large expanse of glazing also provides a wonderful connection to the surrounding environment, with wide views from every room.
Protection from the sun and heat can be controlled by the timber slatted operable shades, which can be opened to provide an additional awning or close off completely for privacy and to protect the building in the warmer months.
The adaptable home is currently set up with photovoltaic solar panels which provide electricity and heated water, and could be easily fitted with water retention tanks in the future.
Make sure you check out the architectural drawings and look our for the funny figures they’ve included – the dog peeing on the house footings in my personal favourite. Who knew these types of figures even existed?! Makes me feel like I wasted so many opportunities for little funny moments in the architectural drawings I used to produce!
Related project: If you like timber modular homes, take a look at Buitenhuis by Vlot Architects.
– Double glazed windows
– Operable timber sun shades protect the building from solar gain
– Untreated Larch timber
– Ground source heat pump for underfloor heating
– Passive solar design
– Photovoltaic solar panels provide electricity and heated water
– Floor to ceiling windows throughout provide ample of natural light, minimising the need for artificial lighting
– Cross ventilation used for cooling
– The building is raised off the ground to allow for air to circulate underneath
– Constructed from readily sourced, reusable and recyclable materials
– Adaptable home
The site’s position in a transition zone between an old industrial area and a residential neighbourhood meant we could explore elements of both in our design, so the roofline presents a residential gable to the street and an industrial sawtooth profile to the laneway. Recycled red bricks, concrete lintels and natural timber also nod to both the brick warehouses and the heritage homes that sit side-by-side in Brunswick. Being on the corner of the lane allowed us to build right to the edge of the site, with the front door to each townhouse opening directly onto the laneway. In keeping with the street setback, the front yard is maintained as a shared space – only fitting for a project with collaboration at its heart!
Nadine is the founder and editor of Eco Edition and founder of the Eco Edition Design School. She’s an experienced interior designer, sustainable materials consultant, speaker and serial home renovator.