Wingate Architects Ltd 12 Arka Modular
Design DirectorDavid Wingate
Team MembersJonathan Gibb, Ornela Priotti, Natasha Baumgartner
The vision for Arka is the creation of a design and quality driven initiative for modular housing as a product that is both scalable and economical. In an already saturated market - modular housing is either being presented as “cheap” but lack-lustre in design or “architecturally designed” but not component and modular driven. The final product design is one that easily adapts to varying needs as well as differing quantities and usage.
Designed to be scalable, with a nationally accepted multi-proof consent and produced in large volumes, the product is crafted using locally sourced Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) that acts as the structure, insulation, and exposed interior finish; a deliberate decision that meant reduced construction time and minimal waste. Currently constructed in a local Auckland factory, each CLT piece is numbered then lifted into place during construction. To be able to produce at larger scales and nationwide, it was important that the construction method was simple and could be shared with builders across the country in a handbook type method. In addition to this the modules have been designed around the ability of being transported to site by truck with reduced need for permits.
The modules are autonomous and can be configured using varying components including The ‘Arka’ – ‘Lunar’, ‘30’, ‘Urban’, ‘Link’ and ‘Cabin’, all of which can operate individually or collectively.
‘Arka Lunar’ – A landing module designed to create self-sufficiency with a water tank, solar power and storage.
‘Arka 30’ – Compact and confined within 30sqm this is the smallest living module.
‘Arka Urban’ - A small unit that can be occupied as a retail space or a small office.
‘Arka Link’ – A unique module that acts as a ‘click on’ piece. Link modules come in varying forms – Utility and WC facilities, an arrival entrance, or a stairwell. The modules are used to connect.
‘Arka Cabin’ – Larger than the 30, the Cabin provides a starter piece that allows the user the ability to grow their project in accordance with their own time frames.
Together these components can be clicked and linked dependent on its intended purpose overtime. A ‘Cabin’ can grow to a ‘Villa’ – a complete standard size house or ‘Collective’ – a village of living units. High-spec finishes were selected from NZ suppliers to ensure quality. Our intent was that Arka could not only grow but be downsized and resold on the market. This was an important decision made early on that we create a highly considered, excellent design and well-built product that would hold its value and be resalable – a financial and environmental decision. Modules can be sold and readapted to their new built environment – a sustainable solution that reduces building wastage.
Scalable and locally designed, Arka is a product that can be produced in volumes or adapted to varying lifestyle needs over time.