Barcode Architects
Bureau for Architecture
and Contemporary Design


Why do we invest in high-quality architecture and sustainability for permanent structures and do we mainly opt for fast and cheap when it comes to temporary and/or flexible structures? This question motivated Barcode Architects, in collaboration with ABT, Buro Mee and Quake, to develop Cubix: a modular timber construction system that can be linked on a simple grid.






ABT, Buro Mee, Quake

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Barcode Architects: Caro van de Venne, Ellen Rouwendal, Florin Salcudean, Alberto Nanni, Beatrice Piola, Ruggero Pedrini, Federico Palli, Bartosz Iwanow

Based on one module, both aesthetic and functional buildings can be created ranging from 40m2 to 3,000m2. Buildings with a lot of freedom in shape, placement, and functions where people can work, study, research and relax. Changing user needs? Cubix does not need a foundation, so assembly and disassembly is quick and easy. This allows Cubix buildings to be moved to another location, or configured into multiple small buildings in different locations. And that time after time: the modules have a minimum lifespan of 30 years, and with regular maintenance even a minimum of 45 years.

Temporary buildings are too often dark, soulless and unsustainable. In addition to being flexible and portable, Cubix is a healthy, stimulating and social (working) environment for people. The ground floor design, openness and direct relationship with the outside world promote unexpected meetings and exchange of ideas. The modules allow a lot of light and air to pass through, which has a positive impact on focus and creativity.

There is even space in between the modules to create green courtyards. A view of nature is inspiring, stimulates productivity, and contributes to the reduction of stress. In addition, Cubix is particularly durable. The modules save about 82% CO2 compared to conventional NZEB buildings. Almost all Cubix materials are circular, reusable or biodegradable. One module consists of 36 components that are transported as a flat pack. This reduces transport movements to an absolute minimum.

Cubix can radically transform the way we think about temporary buildings. The system proves that temporary means quality and longevity. That temporary has a positive impact on the mental and physical well-being of, and the social interaction between people. That temporary is flexible, adaptable and movable, but also sustainable, natural, circular and biodegradable. And that temporary can also be a beautiful and pleasant place to stay. It's about time for temporary.

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