1st Edition

The Future of Modular Architecture

By David Wallance Copyright 2021
    302 Pages 130 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    302 Pages 130 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Future of Modular Architecture presents an unprecedented proposal for mass-customized mid- and high-rise modular housing that can be manufactured and distributed on a global scale. Advocating for the adoption of open-source design based on a new modular standard, the book shows how the construction industry and architectural practice may soon be radically reshaped. By leveraging the existing intermodal freight transport system, global supply chains can be harnessed to realize the long-held promise that housing will be a well-designed and affordable industrial product. We are on the cusp of a transformative change in the way we design and build our cities.

    Author David Wallance argues that modular architecture is profoundly intertwined with globalization, equitable urbanism, and sustainable development. His book addresses these timely issues through a specific approach grounded in fundamental concepts. Going beyond the individual modular building, Wallance forecasts the emergence of a new type of design, manufacturing, and construction enterprise.

    Written in an approachable style with illustrated examples, the book is a must read for professionals in architecture and design, city planning, construction, real estate, as well as the general reader with an interest in these topics.

    PART 1 1. Introduction 2. The Global Housing Crisis 3. The Argument for Economical Transportation 4. The Disruptive Advent of Intermodal Shipping 5. Promises of Progress: Four Case Histories PART 2 6. The Intermodal Modular System PART 3 7. Is Intermodal Modular Architecture Sustainable? 8. Innovators, Entrenched Interests, and Early Adopters 9. Toward a Global Vernacular 10. The Collaborative Open Source Project 11. The Place of Intermodal Modular Architecture


    David Wallance, FAIA is an architect, educator, and author. He is the founder of DRA/W, an architectural practice based in Brooklyn, NY.

    "David Wallance’s work in intermodal modular architecture opens a future for sustainable, less expensive and factory-perfect buildings going well beyond the building typologies typically associated with pre-built structures. Since the introduction of curtain wall design nearly 70 years ago, building construction methods have changed little and remain profoundly inefficient in comparison with the enormous technical progress made in other areas of goods production. David’s comprehensive exploration of modular design confronts systemic anachronisms that are deeply intrenched in the construction industry and forces consideration of why it is that we continue to tolerate them."

    Daniel Alpert, Founding Managing Partner and Chief Economist, Westwood Capital, LLC, Author of The Age of Oversupply: Overcoming the Greatest Challenge to the Global Economy