Modular Hub Transforms Disused Offices Into Urban Apartments

Living in the city becomes increasingly expensive and less affordable for many. At the same time, loads of office floors stay empty. Dutch architecture firm Kraaijvanger comes up with The Hub — a modular and demountable system that turns empty buildings into homes in a few days.

The Hub is going to be tested in a commercial building in Rotterdam, where a former office will serve as a testing ground for a new type of temporary apartment for the coming months. Each hub offers those amenities that one needs to turn a space into a proper home — a kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet, plus facilities such as heating, a sound system and an Internet connection. Installation will only take a few days, and when the space needs to be turned into an office again, it’s very easy to turn everything around.

The Hub

Being that flexible, The Hub is an ideal housing concept for people with a similar flexible or nomadic lifestyle. Users don’t have to buy this as a house, but they can lease The Hub. All materials are being provided and financed by the suppliers, who will remain owner of The Hub and ensure its quality and durability while being used.

The Hub

The costs of living in a Hub are highly dependent on the size and price of the office spaces, but could potentially be around €500 says Danielle Rungs from housing association Havensteder, which rents out the newly created living spaces. In case the test results are positive, this living concept could be an interesting and cheap solution for two problems many Western European cities face: the overload of offices spaces on the one hand, and the lack of affordable housing in the city centre on the other. When opting for this form of housing, a complicated, expensive and irreversible transformation is not needed.

Pictures by Ronald Tilleman