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Warsaw University of Technology student Maria Hofman recognized for innovative design of modular housing complexes!

09 of April '24

Los Angeles is currently facing one of its most serious problems - a housing crisis due to a shortage of available building lots. With each passing year, rents are rising and real estate prices are becoming unaffordable for many residents. In response to these challenges, Buildner held its sixteenth Los Angeles Affordable Housing Challenge for innovative and practical projects to help solve a variety of housing needs. Maria Hofman, a student at the Faculty of Architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology, created the "PARK & LIVE together" project, which was shortlisted for this international competition. The jury included Persis Lam, a member of Building Equality in Architecture Toronto, and Dr. Steffen Lehmann, a professor at the School of Architecture in Las Vegas.

fragment planu Los Angeles

excerpt from the Los Angeles plan

© Maria Hofman

The contestants were tasked with finding a suitable location in Los Angeles, taking into account factors such as accessibility, infrastructure and potential impact on the surrounding community. Attention was given to projects that change the city's landscape while meeting the needs of residents.

wizualizacja modułowego kompleksu mieszkalnego

A visualization of a modular apartment complex

© Maria Hofman

"PARK & LIVE together" takes advantage of the potential of non-obvious spaces. Parking spaces, which occupy 14% of Los Angeles County, here become the key to solving the city's housing problem. According to the project, using just 20% of these parking lots, housing for 1.3 million people can be created. The concept is based on the use of existing parking lots while preserving their main function. Modular housing complexes, mounted on wooden platforms above the parking lots, preserve much of the parking spaces. Their flexible designs adapt to different parking lot layouts and locations. Prefabricated housing modules are transported to the site and then assembled. This system lowers production costs and reduces construction time, resulting in more affordable housing. In addition, the modular nature of the project makes it possible to move the complex to another location in the future, should the occupied parking lots be needed.

moduły konstrukcyjne znajdują się nad parkingami

The structural modules are located above the parking lots

© Maria Hofman

The designed modular housing system adapts to different types of parking lots and surrounding development. It can be designed for both small and large parking lots of different shapes. In the case of low-density surroundings, the modules are arranged to create small single-family or two-family buildings with a maximum of two stories.
In areas of higher, denser development, modules are stacked to form multi-story residential buildings. It is also possible to put them on top of existing buildings or platforms.

konstrukcja modułu mieszkalnego

construction of a residential module

© Maria Hofman

The apartments are designed with different social groups in mind, ranging from single people, students to families with many children. The complexes also have a number of common spaces, such as gyms and children's play areas, which promote community and integration between residents, as well as a café with amenities for working together and a laundry room.

moduły wielopoziomowe

multi-level modules

© Maria Hofman

The project not only has an impact on reducing the housing crisis, but also emphasizes sustainability. The use of CLT laminated wood and photovoltaic panels makes the complexes environmentally friendly. In addition, green patios and rooftop gardens support urban ecology. As a result, the project contributes to the creation of integrated residential spaces in Los Angeles and guarantees an innovative approach to solving social problems.

zewnętrzna przestrzeń wspólna

outdoor common space

© Maria Hofman

Aleksandra Skorupa

The vote has already been cast