Imagine a world where housing has grown so limited that people revolt and construct their own parasitic homes on any available space they can -- like the interior of the famed Arche de la Défense in Paris. Pocket of Active Resistance is a modular complex designed by Parisian architect, Stéphane Malka, who sees existing buildings and infrastructure as the foundation for more sustainable and affordable housing. But to get to that point, we, the people, would hijack these buildings and take them as our own.
Pocket of Active Resistance is a modular housing system stuck to the interior walls of la Défense that grows organically out of the insurrection and malcontent of the people. Homes consists of modules affixed to the interior walls of the building that are connected via catwalks and scaffolding. Modules can be connected together to create larger abodes. They look a bit ramshackle and scraped together from recycled parts and pieces, and Malka claims in his proposal that a housing module would only cost 3,000 euros.
La Résistance is a clear theme that runs strongly through French culture, but this design could easily be applied to any building of political or cultural importance. What if these guerrilla modules were affixed to the Pentagon in the US? Malka’s design is strongly based on environmental concerns, as the act of building new always degrades the environment — which is why he proposes these parasitic homes that take advantage of existing infrastructure.
“In light of these social, economic, and ecologic urgencies, it is necessary to reconsider the city with the logic of transformation: through superposition, addition, and the extension of our built heritage more than through that of a univocal tabula rasa. This means reclaiming territory in the marginalized areas of our cities, with projects that bear insurrection and civic mobilization.”
Photo credits: ©Stéphane Malka