Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated with the most recent information.
Sleek, experimental modular dwellings designed by Ljubljana-based OFIS Arhitekti tend to perch precariously on the cliffs of the Slovenian Alps. The firm’s latest creation of the sort was introduced in an altogether different kind of environment: this year’s Milan Design Week.
Rising like a geometric monolith in Parco Sempione, the black three-story structure shows off the versatility of the new modular system OFIS developed in collaboration with architecture studios C+C and C28, engineering firm AKT, and contractor Permiz.
The prototype is made of three vertically stacked modules, each measuring about eight feet wide, thirteen feet long, and nearly nine feet tall. Structurally, the units are made of a wooden frame reinforced by plywood and clad on the outside by black-painted planks—though one could use almost any kind of material on the exterior. A typical vertical configuration might contain a kitchen and seating area on the first level, a bathroom on the second, and a bedroom on the third.
Designed to adapt to a wide range of terrains, Living Units can be arranged vertically or horizontally and used for everything from a holiday house to a climber’s mountainside shelter or a backyard studio. The modularity also allows the structures to be used efficiently as temporary buildings that can be disassembled and removed.
Putting the system’s adaptability on full display, OFIS recently installed the structure as a pop-up library on the grounds of Ljubljana Castle. The structure, still three units tall, offers a calm space to read and relax in each modules—plus fabulous skyline views in the the city-facing top and bottom units. The structure is held in place with steel anchors and removable concrete cubes, according to Dezeen.
Take a closer look.