Modular designs have a lot going for them: they are expandable, customizable and are made to adapt to any number of circumstances, be it for disaster relief situations or building an affordable off-grid home. British designer Barry Jackson's Hivehaus is a modular living space based on the hexagonal forms of the beehive, which features a compact living unit that can be expanded on any of the six sides to create a customized, connected cluster or 'hive'.
Here's video tour of the showroom model in Lancashire, UK:
Coming as a flat pack package that can be easily assemble by two people, each of the Hivehaus' sides measures 2 metres (6 feet) long, creating a internal floor area of 9.3 square metres (100 square feet), and 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) high. The units can be customized as kitchen, bathroom or living spaces, using uniform internal partition walls and doors which can be removed if the occupant changes their mind or wants to have a more open space.
A view of the kitchen reveals this absolutely brilliant space-saving kitchen cabinet system that unfolds to show how much it can hide.
The Hivehaus doesn't need concrete foundations, though concrete or gravel retention pads or ground screws are helpful, and its adjustable legs mean that it can be installed on different or difficult terrains. In addition, the Hivehaus' roof can be outfitted with a green roof -- reducing the energy bill. Off-grid options like solar panels, composting toilets and rainwater harvesting, are available, and these self-contained units can also be topped with a circular skylight, allowing for abundant natural daylighting.
The outdoors can be brought in by way of a moveable "fire wall" that has a small woodstove attached to it; opening out to a hexagonal-shaped wooden deck where inhabitants can enjoy the beauty of nature, by a roaring fire and mere steps away from their living room.
The Hivehaus is currently only available in the UK (but may be available worldwide in late 2014), and does require approved installers to set it up, but their website mentions that there may be a DIY option soon. More over at Hivehaus and Facebook.