7DayHouse: Fabrication-aware generative design

Using digital tools to provide customized housing solutions for urban densification

Anton Savov explored how better housing solutions in densely populated urban areas can be achieved using collaborative AI, mixed reality, and a product platform that employs digitally fabricated timber to revolutionize the approach to scale at the Holcim Foundation Sounding Board.

Last updated: May 10, 2023 Zurich, Switzerland

By Anton Savov, Chair for Digital Building Technologies, ETH Zurich

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A flexible design and construction system

The architect and postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich’s Chair of Digital Building Technologies presented the 7DayHouse project at the Holcim Foundation Sounding Board in Zurich. Rather than focusing on large-scale developments, the approach creates a variety of customized housing solutions that make use of leftover urban spaces through a generative design and construction system. Anton argues that thinking at the scale of a single project could hinder urban densification. Instead, custom prefabricated timber “top-up” rooftop extensions built on top of existing buildings allow for efficient use of spaces in cities.

The 7DayHouse project explores a novel process to design and construct a home. The project aims to operationalize a tool through the design of customized, prefabricated timber “top-up” units. Top-up units are lightweight rooftop extensions built on top of existing buildings. Generative algorithms facilitate residential design and construction systems to become more responsive to local contexts and capable of rapidly delivering customized housing without compromising architectural quality.

The 7DayHouse project is led by Prof. Benjamin Dillenburger and Prof. Daniel Hall and funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and affiliated with the Design++ Center at ETH Zurich.

Holcim Foundation Sounding Board

Anton Savov presented an approach to digital fabrication that can revolutionize the building process at the first Holcim Foundation Sounding Board. The Sounding Board enables built environment innovators to explore their ideas with industry-leading peers. Start-ups, academics, researchers, and architects can utilize the agile platform to receive peer feedback on their novel ideas that challenge conventional building practices.