Meta - Modular: Permutable Habitat


Conceived as a modular system, Meta-Modular represents a systematic approach to residential development, providing innovative solutions to the housing challenges confronting the new generation. This flexible system opens potentials to design an infinite amount of adaptable, sustainable houses that are inspired by the culture of the UAE. Meta-Modular is designed to help create houses that are organic and responsive with the ability to adapt to the changing needs of its inhabitants.

Meta-Modular ingeniously merges two prevalent construction techniques to leverage their respective strengths and mitigate inherent limitations. Harnessing the rapid and eco-friendly attributes of Concrete 3D Printing, Meta-Modular streamlines on-site operations by capitalizing on modular construction's efficiency.

The incorporation of 3D-printed, prefabricated modular components facilitates the development of residential communities tailored to the diverse lifestyles of occupants. This approach ensures a distinctive expression of design for each house, triumphing over the conventional monotony associated with traditional precast modular construction.

At each layer of this modular system, customization is the key, offering families unparalleled control over the design, from the spatial qualities down to the smallest details. This approach allows for an infinite number of permutations, ensuring that each house reflects the inhabitants’ tastes and needs.

Spirit of the Past, Comfort of the Future

Meta-Modular pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the United Arab Emirates while embracing futuristic building techniques. It is inspired by modular aspects within the history of housing in the UAE like Areesh houses and utilizes 3D printing and dry assembly techniques to achieve the same level of modularity.

Drawing inspiration from traditional Emirati houses, it prioritizes privacy while remaining welcoming to guests. It provides great thermal comfort through the wind tower that doubles as an open entrance that houses the staircase to the upper level. The wind tower is coupled with a private courtyard that maintains privacy while enhancing the ventilation capabilities of the house. This blend of tradition and innovation results in a house that provides harmonious spaces that cater to the needs of contemporary living.

A Sustainable Approach

Beyond its adaptive design, Meta-Modular is also a testament to sustainability. It is constructed using recycled materials that align with the environmental needs of our time. The 3D-printed modular system employs a dry assembly technique, reducing construction waste and allowing for easy customization and adaptability over time. This approach minimizes the carbon footprint and ensures that the house remains eco-friendly throughout its lifespan. The house also experiments with different building materials to provide a great blend of sustainability and aesthetic flexibility.

  1. Type
  2. Client
  3. Location
    Dubai, UAE
  4. Status
  5. Lead
    Riyad Joucka
  6. Team
    Dheyaa Dheyaa, Habiba Mohamed, Omar Allabban
  7. Date

Its key feature is its 3D-printed modular construction that depends on dry assembly techniques to provide the utmost level of flexibility, allowing it to expand and contract like a living organism. This will also inhibit a considerable amount of waste linked with the current construction methodology. Aside from fostering a new level of spatial flexibility, Meta-Modular also offers endless possibilities for tailoring aesthetics and functionality to individual preferences and needs.

Tailored to Fit

The kit of parts allows the dwellers to live in a dynamic space that grows and shrinks in response to the family’s ever-changing needs. The system’s adaptability can be highlighted through the houses’ ability to accommodate new family members, changes in the financial status of the family, evolving preferences, and changing lifestyles.

This permutable nature of Meta-Modular ensures that the houses never become outdated, too small, or inadequate with time. It provides a harmonious and ever-evolving environment that truly reflects each family’s unique journey. By continuously adapting and evolving, it minimizes the need for extensive renovations or relocations, thus creating a habitat with solid roots yet flexible parts that are modular on every layer of the house.

Layers of Modularity

The technical solution provided by the Meta-Modular system reflects itself in multiple dimensions throughout every house. It consists of infinite types of blocks (rooms) of varying sizes and styles. The blocks are composed of endless variations of units (walls) of different finishes, patterns, and articulations. These units, in turn, are made up of modules that can be highly customized.

Diagrams Showing Modular System at Different Levels of Modularity

Detail Diagrams Showing Exploded Unit & Module and a 3D Wall Section





Photographs of Physical 3D Printed Models of the Modules

Detail Diagram Showing Assembly Techniques & Construction Process

Axonometrics Showing House Typologies

Exploded Diagram Showing House in Neighborhood Scale & Family Expandability Diagram

Drawings Showing the Four-Bedroom Courtyard Villa Floor Plans.

Drawings Showing the Four-Bedroom Courtyard Villa in Section & Elevation.