Malaysian architect Tay Yee Wei recently unveiled a towering vertical city populated with hexagonal housing units that offer a solution to urban population growth problems in Asian cities. The tower itself serves as a scaffolding — as the population of urban areas fluctuates, modular units can be “plugged in” to the structure to accommodate an expanding population.
Wei’s Plug-in Dwelling Development was inspired by Le Corbusier’s theory — “a house is a machine for living.” The project essentially rotates a sprawling community into a vertical orientation. The city puts down the initial costs and retains ownership of the primary structure, which is made of reinforced concrete. Residents will be able to purchase a “lot” and insert a modular housing unit that can be customized to suit each individual family. The pre-fab hexagon units can also be combined to create larger homes for larger families. Wei suggests that many open “lots” could be earmarked for green spaces, recreational areas, and research facilities.
The Plug-in Dwelling project assumes that the development will have a longer lifespan than the city that surrounds it. Wei designed a flexible structure that can be easily dismantled and transported to the next up-and-coming city according to fluctuations in population and economy.