Flexible Housing

Jul 14, 2022

Housing is considered as a basic necessity and as society changes, the typical house causes resistance with new demands from new ideals of recent time. People without a doubt to remain in their homes if they can adapt them, and need to change as a result of the absence of changes to their dwellings as per their desires. Therefore, applying client’s ideas within the designing and planning processes of the housing could be a key to determining the relation between people’s expected desires and their future ones.

Flexible Housing | Tag | ArchDaily


Flexible housing can be defined as housing that is designed for choice at the design stage, both in terms of social use and construction, or designed for change over its lifetime.

The degree of flexibility is can be measured in two ways. First the in-built opportunity for adaptability, defined as ‘capable of different social uses’, and second the opportunity for flexibility, defined as ‘capable of different physical arrangements.


Flex plan
by chatterbox.typepad

Enhancing the adaptability of the dwelling to the needs of its inhabitants and consequently their fulfilment. Providing adaptability and flexibility to residential spaces according to different lifestyles is a feature of the ideal home.

Flexible housing is defined as a planning choice in the design stage of domestic architecture; either both in terms of construction and social use, or designed for change over time.


Architects have been arguing for years now that we need more flexible housing buildings for 21st-century lives. Technology has allowed some of us to work from anywhere at any time, yet many houses still do not reflect this in their design - something the COVID-19 pandemic really put a spotlight on.

As we’ve been spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic living closely with roommates and families, the intense way we’ve been living over the last few months has emphasized the need for more flexible, separate living spaces.


1.Separate living areas: Having separated living areas can be tremendously handy if you’re from a big family and want a quiet space to escape to, or if you’ve got guests over and want a bit of privacy to distract away from the rest of the family.

2.Room for multi-generational families: Similarly, if you live under one roof as a multi-generational family, things can simply become pretty overcrowded in a standard house. Flexible houses offer the ability to live together with each other but with your own separate spaces, so there’s less pushiness and more privacy.

3.Extra space to work: Rather than converting your dining table into a makeshift office or trying to work in the common area while your family member has the TV blasting, flexible houses offer spaces you can commit to working from home - without your kids yelling in the background.

4.More living/hobby space: Another major benefit of flexible houses is that they can also permit you more space for your hobbies. So rather than trying to paint or do crafts on the kitchen table at the same time as your kids are doing their homework, you can have a separate space for it.

Now Let’s look at some flexible homes!!

Letter of Recommendation: The Nakagin Capsule Tower - The New York Times
Nakagin Capsule Tower in 1972, it was the prime capsule design style.

The module was fashioned with the intention of housing traveling businessmen that worked in central Tokyo during the week. It is an essence for design of property and reutilize ability, as every module is fitted in to the central core and replaced or changed once necessary.

VWArtclub - Nakagin Capsule Tower
Nakagin Capsule Tower - Iconic Houses

All items of the pods were factory-made in an manufacturing plant in Shiga Prefecture then transported to the location by truck. The pre-assembled interior options a circular window, bed and loo, and is provided with a TV, radio and timer. Raised by a crane, the capsules were inserted within the shipping containers by use of a crane, and so fixed to the concrete core shaft.


UNStudio reveals Van B residences in Munich featuring intelligent,  adaptable systems in interiors

Architects of UNStudio and Bauwerk have designed a new analogue smart urban living concept for the Van B residences in Munich, Germany.

The totally new form of housing reimagines the future of city living, catering to altering demographics and multiple family constellations. Through adaptable partitions and a system of plugin furniture, the project allows an easy change of arrangement.

Van B - UNStudio
© bloomimages courtesy of UNStudio and Bauwerk

The strategy involves creating as many different ways as possible to reconfigure an apartment, by visualization 'an adaptable partition and furniture',  'plugin-based’ system that permits homeowners to use the space in a 40m2 apartment almost as if it were a 60m2 loft”.

UNStudio Introduces New Flexible Urban Living Concept in the Van B  Residences in Munich | ArchDaily
Van B - UNStudio
© bloomimages courtesy of UNStudio and Bauwerk

Letting tenants to easily change the use of the same floor space in a matter of seconds, the design challenges old idea of square footage, encouraging people to live in more flexible ways.


What is Flexible Housing-Cala Domus -1

The family of houses has been established with an innovative ‘living wall’ feature. This component houses and distributes all central building services and plant. The living wall is also flexible for additional future uses as technologies change over time.

Various service terminals located within the living wall are assorted in appearance by circular, colored distancing plates, making an attractive feature out of the utilitarian. Sunspaces, glazed porches, verandas and glazed ‘pockets’ attach directly to the living walls to ease the transfer of solar gain to the rest of the house.

What is Flexible Housing-Cala Domus -2
Cala Domus ©www.ahrdotcodotuk.com

The homes are typical and colorful, combining glazed balconies, colored render and traditional brick. The construction method used is a highly insulated off-site manufactured timber frame and roof panel envelope. The houses are set out in pedestrian-friendly streets and lanes, all homes are within 400m of a bus route and within 60m of parkland.

Cala Domus | Residential | AHR | Architects and Building Consultants

Building and growing are two actions that should be considered more often than not at the same time.

So flexible housing is the new future of construction where houses can be changed according to the requirements of the owners!

Arpitha Acharya

Arpita is always in the quest to discover new experiences. She is relentless in conveying thoughts & sharing her explorations. Her only forte is writing & sometimes communicating with furry animals.