Vertical Village collection is the result of a radical urban vision – and you can sit on it

The Background

The pressure on the East Asian cities has led to an increasing urbanization and densification during the last decades. It has made way for the construction of giant buildings, mostly towers, blocks and slabs. A ‘Block Attack’ that gradually replaces and scrapes away the more traditional low rise, small scale, often ‘lighter’ types of architecture and urbanism: the individual houses in Taipei, the hutongs in Beijing, the small wooden houses in Tokyo, the villages in Singapore and other East Asian cities.

These urban villages form mostly intense and socially highly connected communities, with enormous individual identities and differentiations. One can speak of urban ecologies, communities that have evolved over the course of centuries. Their faceless replacements packed with identical apartment units offer a Western standard of living at an affordable price, but at the expense of differentiation, flexibility and individual expression.

The alternative

Is there an alternative to this process? Can one imagine a new model for the development of East Asian cities? Can these areas be densified in such a way that the qualities of the traditional village are preserved and enriched?

The design based research by The Why Factory and MVRDV offers an alternative, a contemporary Vertical Village – a three-dimensional community that brings personal freedom, diversity, flexibility and neighbourhood life back into East Asian cities.

Make your own

The research was presented in an exhibition touring Taipei, Seoul, Hong Kong, Hamburg and Sao Paulo. As a symbol for the Vertical Village concept a 1:10 scale model was made by Sixinch to be the centerpiece of the Vertical Village exhibition in Hamburg. The flexible, durable foam Elements became an instant crowd pleaser.

So in March 2014, on popular demand, we made them available for sale. You can make your own Vertical Village model and use it however you like. Indoor, outdoor, at your home, at the office, at the gallery, ...