The Rise of Modular Architecture: A Look at Different Types

Explore the different types of modular architecture and its impact on the construction industry. Learn about its efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness through 10 examples from around the world.

The Rise of Modular Architecture: A Look at Different Types

As an expert in the field of architecture, I have witnessed the rise of modular construction (PMC) and its impact on the industry. This innovative approach to building has gained popularity for its efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness. In this article, I will explore the different types of modular architecture and provide examples from around the world.

Permanent Modular Construction

PMC is a method of construction that involves building modules off-site and then assembling them on-site. This process is faster, greener, and safer compared to traditional construction methods.

With PMC, there is less waste and more savings as materials are used more efficiently. To better understand this concept, let's take a look at 10 examples of modular architecture:

Nagakin Capsule Tower

The Nagakin capsule tower in Tokyo, Japan is the first example of capsule architecture design. It was intended to accommodate itinerant businessmen working in downtown Tokyo. The building's design consists of 140 capsules stacked and rotated at various angles around a central core. Each capsule measures 4 x 2.5 m and provides enough space for a person to live comfortably.

These capsules can be easily replaced or exchanged when necessary.

Revival School Building

The Revival school building in Ukraine was designed in response to the devastation caused by war. The structure is built to house more than 176 students within a modular aluminum structure that can be adapted and changed to suit the needs of its users.

My Micro Residential Building

Located in Manhattan, New York, My Micro is a nine-story modular residential building. It contains 55 units made of steel structures and concrete slabs. These units were prefabricated outside of the Brooklyn facility, which accelerated the construction process.

Instant Hospital

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 1000-bed hospital was built in Wuhan, China in just 2 weeks.

The two-story structure, consisting of prefabricated rooms and components, received the nickname “instant hospital”. This showcases the speed and efficiency of modular construction in times of crisis.


ModSkool is a low-cost modular school that can be built by the community in just a few hours and quickly dismantled. This concept was developed after a school for 200 children in a settlement near the Yamuna River was declared illegal and demolished.

The Efficiency of Modular Architecture

One of the main reasons behind the expansion of modular architecture is its efficiency and speed. This makes it the perfect solution for natural disasters that require a quick but organized response.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of modular construction, as seen in the instant hospital built in Wuhan. Modular architecture also addresses the experimental aspect of buildings. Once delivered, modules only need to be installed, making it a more efficient and cost-effective option compared to traditional construction methods.

The Different Types of Modular Architecture

There are various types of modular architecture, each with its own unique features and benefits. Let's take a closer look at some of these types:

Hybrid Modular Construction

This type combines elements of both permanent and temporary modular construction. It offers the advantages of both methods, such as speed, efficiency, and sustainability.

Prefabricated Buildings

Prefabricated buildings are highly customized modular structures that are built off-site.

This allows for greater flexibility in form and function, making it a popular choice for convention spaces.

Transportable Modular Construction

Also known as temporary modular construction, this type involves building facilities that can be easily transported and reused in different locations. This makes it a cost-effective option for temporary structures.

The Advantages of Modular Architecture

Modular architecture offers numerous advantages, including:
  • Cost reduction
  • Interoperability
  • Flexibility in design
  • Augmentation or upgrade without generational restrictions
  • Standardization of materials and codes
Modular architecture is used in various industries, such as automobiles, computers, and even furniture. Its platform systems offer advantages in terms of profitability, reduced product development costs, and reduced operating and maintenance costs.

The Future of Modular Architecture

The rise of modular architecture has revolutionized the construction industry. Its efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness make it a popular choice for various projects.

As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative uses of modular architecture in the future. As an expert in the field, I believe that modular architecture will continue to play a significant role in addressing social and growth problems, as well as providing affordable housing solutions. Its controlled manufacturing process also ensures high-quality and consistent results.

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