There seems to be a dearth of affordable housing in most of the urban areas in the world, a situation that is only frustrated by vacant and unused plots we see in our cities. Polikatoikea aims to help with this problem with space efficient low cost units that fit seamlessly in the modern world.
This design, by Filipe Magalhaes and Ana Luisa Soares, won the open ideas prize at the Origami Ideas Competition. The aim of the competition was to find ways to use vacant lots in the city of Porto, Portugal. The architects proposed pods holding the essentials needed for a small residence stacked on platforms. The platforms have connections to utilities and can be stacked higher and higher, with the pods takings over the adjacent buildings. The pods are in effect mini trailers, but beautiful ones. Each trailer has a kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom. The idea is that most living will take place outside on the platform terraces, with the pods reserved for only the essentials. This solution is tailored to the mild climate in Porto and aims to bring people outdoors.
The name for the project, Polikatoikea, is a portmanteau of the Greek polikatoika referring to democracy in Greece and the Swedish word for idea, ikea. The designers clearly have a very democratic vision for housing and also hope that the pods will be within the financial means of all, hence the reference to the Swedish furniture company we are all so well aware of. While quarters are certainly cramped in Polikatoika, it is not meant for the baby boomer generation with its large households. Polikatoika looks to for an answer to current problems, for contemporary people.