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House Dispensing Skyscraper


The concept was inspired by the avant-garde capsule structures proposed by the Metabolist Movement of Japan in the sixties. The movement envisioned plug-in technologies and design concepts that would revolutionise how cities function. With today’s cutting-edge 3D printing technology, such proposals seem less far-fetched. With the population rising to 8.5 billion by 2030, robotic construction would be the sensible solution to address the growing demands of the housing market. This notion led to the design of a skyscraper that would mass construct homes on site through methods of 3D Printing.


Pod Vending Machine Skyscraper offers a more economically sustainable idea of construction, real-estate value & habitation in providing a strategy in response to global economic uncertainty, real-estate speculation, and housing-demand in cities. The robotics technology of 3D Printing would reduce the amount of labour, time and costs of construction. Due to the high precision construction, material waste can be reduced as well. The Pod Vending Machine suggests the automated construction of affordable and ready-to-use housing pods. The basic unit of a home is explored as tectonic objects.


Inspired by the minimalist living culture of Japanese homes, the house is broken down into basic amenities where users can select which amenities they need. The homeowner could determine what type of pods they wanted by combining multiple sub-pods to form their home. Unused pods will be disassembled or placed in storage to be re-used, thus saving material and creating a metabolic cycle within the skyscraper.


Tokyo has long been the leading city for robotics and manufacturing. The city’s fascination towards science and engineering has changed how society interact with machines. Its culture and social patterns have long revolved around its obsession with automation and its high regard for automated systems. The proliferation of vending machines in Tokyo is impossible to ignore. These machines have minimised the cost of human labour, eliminating the need for sales clerks. The Pod Vending Machine explores the possibility of converting the real estate industry into an automated vending system.  

Abandonment of construction projects remains a serious problem in the construction industry. It results in the wastage of materials and resources. It affects not only the immediate house buyers but also other project players and the general public. In some occasions, it also involves the use of public fund for the revival of abandoned projects. In response to the problem, the scheme proposes an automated 3D printed building that grows in parallel with the city’s housing demand.

The skyscraper will function as an affordable mass produced home dispenser. The building production method adopts an automated system in which ready-to-use pods are manufactured, plugged onto site and can be purchased instantly. A pod printer that 3D prints modular dwellings is installed above the building. The printer will dispense pods and will grow higher as the building grows. Inspired by a commonly used machine that dispenses nearly all of life's necessities for the people of Tokyo, this vast framed structure aims to house a large number of pods equipped with basic amenities for residential and commercial use.

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