Living Pods: Habitat for Life

One of the many challenges all ages of people face today is having ownership of their shelter.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s a house cost around 2-3 times your annual salary. You could buy it on one income. Houses were smaller, there was less consumer product, materials and resources were affordable and plentiful, and there was plenty of land and water. Now, nearly all these parameters have been inverted.

The diversity of social patterns requires a response that caters for this diversity and one possible solution is what we call the “Living Pod” design.

We are aware of what is possible and how current technology and design offer:

On a single house block, as old houses become obsolete and new land becomes available, it is possible to create a multi-pod home that caters for all social types and circumstances to exist at any time.

Living pods are highly adaptive, natural integrated, high-performance thermal envelopes that work at net zero energy and aim to work at net zero carbon.They are designed as Passive House Principles sustainable dwellings and can be combined to cater for singles, couples, families and the elderly.

It is a set of principles applied to the scale and size of the environment.
It is able to cater for any population and is repeated at optimum population (20 to 30 families) to enable connection and community with a level of intimacy.

At its essence it is comprised of the following:

Community space

Garden room


Imagine a four-leaf clover with each leaf being a separate self-contained habitat with bed space, living space, kitchen-dining space and wet area.

These spaces may be as small as 10m2 and up to cater for a range of inhabitants from a teenager to young adult, studying, working, or creating their own employment and want to pay minimal rent, to larger multi-roomed pods that cater for several adults and children.

A central atrium space provides an airlock/garden/food production/air filtering/environmental attenuating space, enabling access to all living pods and a communal safe space for all ages.

Living Pods (Housing) Projects

We have mapped the range of social patterns requiring accommodation and they cover:

  • Mature family: adults, young adults and grandparents
  • Group house: students and friends
  • Simple family: adults and young (adult) children
  • Couple with no children
  • Single mature adults
  • Unemployed
  • Anyone needing care and/or independence
  • Turner Micro Village
  • Carwoola House
Adapting Space to Dynamic Needs Through Life

Create an enhanced natural living environment that sustains people and nature as a microcosm of the city.
Transform residential areas by working within existing local planning regulations.
Enable a single site to accommodate up to 3 or 4 diverse family types.
Waterharvesting: Life blood of the earth: Enrich landscape environment for food, biodiversity

Living Pod Spatial

The Principles of living Pods are then adapted to the size of the dwelling by scale:

  • A single room dwelling
  • A living pod with 1,2 3 or 4 bedrooms as separate clusters to allow social space and private space
  • Terrace housing and low rise buildings that have a community hub and garden room and nature scape at is centre
  • A multi-story apartment building where at the ground floor the scale is adapted to cater for the building’s occupants all dining together and sharing produce, care for young and old and resources.

All of this requires physical planning as well as social planning to enable a community to develop through a raising of consciousness and connection with each other and nature.

Living Pod Concepts: Single's Pod

Living Pod Concepts: Single’s Pod

Single or Couple Dweller
Sun Trap Place
Living, Eating, Sleeping Space
Wet areas Booth

Living Pod Concepts: Community Pod

Living Pod Concepts: Community Pod

Meeting Place
Sharing Family and Friends
Living and Eating

The type of development we are proposing utilises water harvesting and permaculture to significantly enhance the natural environment, filters water and increases summer shade with deciduous trees and provides a central natural garden for the entire community on the site.

Buildings utilise the latest technology for environmental management, store water, produce electricity and are built from all renewable resources – wood, natural finishes, etc.

The aesthetic is natural, organic and beautiful and enables all aspects of community to function.

It is a real paradigm shift in residential design.

This is how we conceived the idea of living pods. Born out of direct need form our ever-evolving client base who want different spatial needs in each generation.

Living Pod Cluster: Site Section