News - 10 February 2021

Van B Housing Project Offers New Model of Urban Living

UNStudio and Bauwerk unveil the design for Van B, a new residential project in Munich that offers a completely new urban living concept centred around making the home as flexible as possible.

The new Van B residential project presents a completely new form of housing that reimagines the future of urban living, giving residents the ability to reconfigure their homes whenever needed.

To create this flexibility, the apartments are designed around a plugin-based, module system in which elements such as a bed, storage space or work areas can be slid conveniently away when not needed.

UNStudio’s founder and principal architect Ben van Berkel says Van B offers a completely new form of ‘smart’ living.

“This is not smart in the usual sense of tech integration; it instead involves reinterpreting ideas from the digital world in order to improve the analogue, physical spaces we inhabit,” he explained.

With our homes now taking on more functions than ever before, acting not only as our places of rest but also our offices, schools, gyms and more, flexibility has become more important than sheer size.

The Van B plugin system allows you to easily change the use of the same floor space in a matter of seconds, making it possible to transform a room from a generous office into a cozy living room, or a bedroom.

"Individual spaces in our homes have had to become multi-functional, serving as offices, gyms, living rooms and sleeping nooks, all at the same time,” van Berkel says. “This means that now, more than ever before, we need to develop new living concepts that cater to the changing demands of our homes."

The flexibility lies in the fact that each element can work in different configurations and that the resident can chose an individual configuration of plugins based on a catalogue of nine elements.

To achieve this, we based each element on a grid system, so that no matter which elements the homeowner chooses, and no matter how they arrange them inside their apartment, the modules will work together.

Also essential in the design was creating connections between people and nature, and using outdoor space as an extension of the living areas.

Van B offers a variety of apartment types and sizes including one to three room apartments, flats, gallery lofts and rooftop flats, each catering to different demographics and resident constellations.

Find out more about the project here.