This competition was organized by the Masstab Developing Company in collaboration with Bart Goldhoorn, the director of the Moscow Biennale.
"The Block City concept aims at combining the advantages of standard design with
the qualities embedded in site-specific design. This is done by defining a standard for
the plot size of the urban block. When this standard is applied both in the design of
urban areas and in the design of housing blocks, it is possible to use identical
projects for housing blocks in different places while keeping their urban qualities.
Since projects with the same size are interchangeable, any project that already has
been developed for one site can be used in new standard-sized plots. This will lead
to competition and result in better and cheaper housing design. Last but not least, the
Block City concept offers the possibility to develop urban design projects and the
After a series of sun studies it became apparent that towers are the most beneficial housing type for this location. The fact that within a small tower footprint most units can be designed as corner units means that they would occupy two principle directions, thus have longer access to sunlight.
In addition, we developed a system in which a tower footprint of standard one bedroom units can be augmented by additional, prefabricated bedroom / bathroom capsules. These capsules can be added at numerous locations to enlarge the one-bedroom units into two or three-bedroom apartments.