Home ยป A Lego-inspired housing solution can help solve the housing crisis

A Lego-inspired housing solution can help solve the housing crisis

Affordable and quick to build, these homes are made out of prefabricated and stackable modules.

The world is changing and so does the architecture of today’s cities. That was the perspective the Paris- and Amsterdam-based architecture studio Cutwork — in collaboration with pioneering companies who share their goal of “reimagining today’s habitat” — adopted when it started developing PolyBloc, a prefabricated building system that implements industrial production and modular construction.

PolyBloc marks the larger-scale progression of PolyRoom, a prefabricated single-room of 226 square feet unit. Designed to be a room without an established purpose, PolyRoom is inspired by Japanese design concepts, reconfiguring spaces to accommodate inhabitants’ needs. Somewhat reminiscent of Lego blocks, PolyRoom modules come with multifunctional furniture — like disappearing beds and foldable storage cabinets — and telescopic rail systems that transition partitions and doors.

The roof of an individual PolyRoom can include outdoor dining and additional plants. When stacked, PolyBloc’s collection of balconies and fully integrated irrigation systems bring a neighborhood of nature to life. Plants for each room can be chosen specifically to encourage local insect and bird habitats.

The PolyRoom units can be constructed in bulk and stacked together to form full-sized residential complexes in different cities much quicker than traditional building methods allow. In that sense, PolyBloc has been designed to be a means of “creating adaptive, flexible housing solutions in different contexts, from urban to rural.”


Paris- and Amsterdam-based Cutwork studios has prototyped the concept of PolyBlocs, which are modularly constructed residential sites consisting of individual PolyRooms that, when stacked, create an array of sizes and shapes. The PolyBlocs build in locale-specific biodiversity, and seek to alleviate the dearth of affordable, healthy, and adaptive construction methods and housing options in the world's vast and growing cities.

PolyRooms are multi-functional spaces with flexible configurations that provide airy, well-lit living arrangements in the form of a studio apartment. Shaped like shipping containers, the long rectangular shapes allow for a range of door and window placements. For instance, Cutwork Studio's design includes a bed that can be lifted during the day to reveal living space below, a table with built-in storage to make it useful for dining and working, and a compact yet comfortable bathroom.

Storage is accommodated throughout each structure, often using sliding doors to reconfigure a space for multiple uses.
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Action point

Many municipalities suffer from the housing crisis and in many cases, there is little the local government officials could do. For cities and towns that can and want to do something about this huge problem, PolyBloc could come to the rescue — offering affordable housing to people who can't buy "real" homes. Even though these are all modular homes, they still offer all the necessities the modern life entails at a fraction of the cost. As a public official, you could contact Cutwork and see whether you could bring their Lego-like buildings to your area. That could potentially be a huge win for your career, your municipality and people looking for low-cost housing.

If you're in the construction or any related business, you may want to contact Cutwork and explore the option of bringing their Lego-like business to the municipalities your company works with. What these affordable units offer is simple - affordable homes that could help solve the housing crisis. As such, selling the idea should be relatively simple - these are low cost apartments that would help the local politician score some points for solving the real issue. And you get to benefit as a middleman in that transaction. It's a win-win.