‘Pod Vending Machine Skyscraper’ Concept for Tokyo 3D-Prints Apartments On Demand

April 16, 2017 5:00 am
(Haseef Rafiei/eVolo Skyscraper Competition)
(Haseef Rafiei/eVolo Skyscraper Competition)


The future of skyscraper might be inspired by office lunchrooms. The “Pod Vending Machine Skyscraper,” designed by Haseef Rafiei, delivers apartments to buyers on demand using 3D-printers.

To cut down on urban crowding and unfinished construction in Tokyo, the concept combines additive manufacturing and modular housing on an unprecedented scale.

According to Inhabitat, the proposal earned an honorable mention in the eVolo Skyscraper Competition this year. It’s also a natural fit for Japan, a country with a culture used to buying everything from food to clothing from vending machines.

The “Pod Vending Machine Skyscraper” works like a big game of Tetris. The building has a 3D-printer on its roof and connects to a crane-like structure that wraps the exterior. The tower’s designed to grow in tandem with Tokyo’s housing demand. In theory, the concept is limitless.


Each personalized unit is manufactured on-site with the rooftop 3D-printer and autonomously deliver using its robotic crane system. The 3D-printer can erect additional floors underneath itself with a constant stream of building materials pumped up via hydraulic tubes.

Apartments are customized by choosing from an array of “sub-pods” that offer different amenities. Residents can expand or “renovate” their apartment by simply having adjacent units printed and installed via the robotic crane system as well.


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