Problems and challenges of the built environment and the potential of prefabricated architecture
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Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Al. Armii Ludowej 16, 00-637 Warsaw, Poland
Submission date: 2022-09-23
Final revision date: 2023-02-15
Acceptance date: 2023-03-21
Publication date: 2023-09-18
Archives of Civil Engineering 2023;3(3)
A contemporary European city faces various challenges, and it remains in a permanent state of crisis. The components that create such a situation are subject to change over time. In addition to the existing problems, the inhabitants, authorities, and people involved in designing and transforming the city, including architects, face newchallenges. In recent years, the old problem of a shortage of affordable housing has been coupled with new challenges, including a sudden influx of refugees, climate change and its consequences, and the pandemic. Solutions to these issues are complex and multi-dimensional, and the actions to be taken are of interdisciplinary nature. Prefabricated architecture can be part of these solutions. Prefabricated building technologies, including prefabricated large-panel buildings, modular buildings and mobile structures, can, under appropriate conditions, modernize the process of building new housing. These solutions fit into the idea of sustainable development and can respond to unexpected and dynamically changing circumstances over time (emergency buildings). This paper examines the contemporary urban crisis and possible steps to be taken through the prism of the possibilities offered by the design of prefabricated buildings. The question is what criteria and design strategies should be adopted for prefabricated architecture to meet the demands of a city in crisis? The conducted analyses are universal. Nevertheless, they consider the application of prefabricated solutions in architecture in Poland and the potential for its further development. Therefore, the discussed implementations from the author’s country are given an important role in the text and are shown first against the background of European design practice. Omission of solutions from other continents is a deliberate delimitation.
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