Blokkies By Henk Moen, Jochem Kaak & Hannah Barth


By Henk Moen, Jochem Kaak & Hannah Barth (Moen & van Oosten architekten)

The proposed site is located in London, South of the River Thames, in the borough of Southwark. The three locations are in close proximity to Southwark station and Blackfriars Road. The area of Blackfriars Road is undergoing a large transformation and has been allocated as one of the spots in Southwark which is suitable for a tall building cluster which will offer a mix of new homes, offices and shops to cater for both the local and wider need. The tallest buildings of this new cluster are to be built on the Northern end of Blackfriars Road, closer to the Thames. The sites around Southwark Station therefore lend perfectly for upward expansion on a slightly smaller scale. Three different buildings have been selected to illustrate the various applications of Blokkies.

Blokkies assumes that the basic needs for living are equal for everybody. Two service units, which accommodate all basic necessities, put together make up a Blokkie (see formation). These units can either be placed on top of one another (vertical) or next to/ opposite one another (horizontal) (see dimensions). The space added on to the service units is for the quality of living, and gives shape to the landscape for your lifestyle.

Blokkies can be used for numerous variations ranging from tiny-house concepts to family-house projects and large luxury apartments (see variations). The Blokkies provide the possibility for growth, both inwards (f.e. adding walls and floors) and outwards (f.e. adding an extension) (see transformation).

Not only is the Blokkie able to adapt to its inhabitants but also to its surrounding context. Due to the light weight of the wooden structure it can easily be placed on top of existing buildings, as well as hung alongside, used as infill or stacked to create an entirely new building (see application). The cladding of the Blokkies can be conform to its surroundings (see composition) or create a contrast (see exterior perspectives of location 1).

The light weight structures of Metsawood makes it easy to use existing structures as a base to extend upwards. The timber frame structure makes it possible to realise high insulation values. The empty wooden structure of the blokkie allows the inhabitants to build in additional seperation walls and floors. Prefabricated elements of the timber frame allow for quick on site manufacturing and create a structure which can in time be disassembled. This latter aspect makes the application of blokkies suitable for temporary use as well as permanent use.

Metsawood helps to lower the global warming potential due to the carbon stored in wood. Solar panels can be added to the facades  or on  the roof of every dwelling to generate sustainable electricity. In every blokkie a battery will be provided for the storage of electricity. The heating will be provided by a low temperature floor heating system. High temperature cooling is also possible with the same installation. The lower ceiling zone in the service-units contains the basic distribution of fresh air based on a warmth regaining ventilation system.  

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs