A skyscraper that dispenses houses is the vending machine you thought you’d never need


Only in Japan

The world’s first house vending machine will rise in Tokyo. Image credit: Haseef Rafiei

A conceptual skyscraper in Tokyo will give you the option of living in an apartment that can be manufactured on the spot and then wedged into the building, ready for occupancy.

The larger-than-life house dispenser, dubbed the Pod Vending Machine, works with a 3D printer on top that builds the modular homes on-site. Mobile cranes and mechanical arms transport the pods below and plug them into a vast, frame-like megastructure.

Designed by Haseef Rafiei, a Malaysian architect based in Manchester, the project won an honorable mention at the 2017 Skyscraper Competition by eVolo Magazine.

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The building is designed to be in a constant state of construction, with the printer rising in height as demand for the pods increases. Building materials are sent skywards via a hydraulic system flanking the building. Nothing is left to waste, with disused pods ultimately recycled by the printer.

A closer look at the concept building, dubbed the Pod Vending Machine. Image credit: Haseef Rafiei

The pods are not designed to be cookie-cutter, however. Orders can be personalised, in that amenity pods, e.g. toilets and kitchens, can be installed and taken out as you please. Conversely, you can buy more pods to expand an existing one. You also have the option to simply rent a pod or use it for commercial purposes.

The skyscraper is designed in the spirit of “wabi-sabi,” the traditional Japanese notion of letting something remain incomplete over time. The designer also recognizes the environmental conundrum posed by abandoned building projects in Japan, hence a project that aims to close the loop in construction wastage.

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