A flat-packed urban village

SPACE10, IKEA’s global research and design lab, and Danish firm EFFEKT Architects developed the Urban Village Project, a vision for more liveable, affordable and sustainable homes using a pre-fabricated and flat-packed modular building system.

The project is a vision for creating shared living communities for people of all ages, backgrounds, and living situations. The objective is to enable a better everyday life through the multiple benefits of living in a tight-knit community, with shared facilities and services, like day-care, urban farming, communal dining, fitness, and shared transportation.

“It is clear that unless we rethink our built environment, our cities will become increasingly unsustainable, unaffordable and socially unequal. For us, shared living can offer potential solutions to some of these urgent challenges. The Urban Village Project looks at how we can create new realities that promote a sense of well-being and turn the spaces we inhabit into healthier and happier places, all while being more affordable and efficient for those that live there, Jamiee Williams, architectural lead of SPACE10, says.

The architecture of the project would be based on a standardised modular building system made of cross-laminated timber (CLT). This material has huge environmental advantages and outperforms steel and concrete on several levels, not to mention health benefits.

The system can be used to build everything from town houses to high rises, from single person homes to family size. During use, the building can be adapted to the owner’s living situation.

The houses can be pre-fabricated, flat-packed and disassembled. The parts can easily be replaced if necessary, and at the end of the house’s life be reused or recycled.

The Urban Village Project is part of a larger goal of Ikea to enable better everyday living.

Images made by EFFEKT Architects for SPACE10