Intensified Density - a small scale densification strategy for the suburbs by using modular construction

In our project Intensified Density we would like to investigate whether a small scale densification strategy for the suburbs / intermediary cities, using modular construction, and existing infrastructure on empty plots of land, can offer a competing alternative to not only the sprawl of single family dwellings but also to large projects.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

"Intensified Density" is a reaction to the growing urban sprawl, which The Austrian Conference on Spatial Planning has recognised since the 1990s as needing to be restrained.

Contents and goals

Within the framework of "Intensified Density" new developments in the building industry will be used in order to counteract the expansion of residential developments. To that end modular building techniques will be investigated for densification strategies which are able to demonstrate the necessary flexibility to respond to each respective context, and offer cost efficient alternatives.

While prefabricated and standardized building techniques are usually planned independently from their future surroundings, "Intensified Density" intends to research how such structures can be connected to existing technical and social infrastructure, and activate and develop their potential.

This comprehensive approach is to be understood as part of a process of rethinking, where the usual roles of architects and urban planners are extended and become part of a shift that allows society's current problems in cities to be identified, researched and sustainably changed.


Within the context of "Intensified Density" added value in terms of urban planning is created, whereby existing problems in the intermediary city can be highlighted, analysed and rendered in order to become workable.

Therefore, applicable solutions will be sought, in cooperation with an interdisciplinary international research team, external experts, as well as incorporation of the project into the teaching content, using architectural design and analytical methods.

Expected results

A long term goal is an implementation in the form of a pilot project in cooperation with a local authority, housing association or developer, and companies within the construction industry.

In addition to the development of a modular but needs – oriented form of building, in the form of a pilot project that can adapt to specific contexts, a multi-criteria catalogue will be created. It will provide information about possibilities for the development of new proposals and methods for densification which are locally based and have international relevance.

The project "Intensified Density" should demonstrate possibilities, activate dormant land and inspire visions of contextually anchored, futuristic, denser small scale forms of residential living.

Project Partners

Project management

Univ. Prof. Architektin BDA Dip.Arch. Petra Petersson - Graz University of Technology, Institute of Construction and Design Principles

Project or cooperation partners

  • Graz University of Technology - Institute of Structural Design
  • University of Applied Sciences Potsdam - Special field Construction Engineering


Contact Address

Graz University of Technology - Institute of Construction and Design Principles
Kronesgasse 5
A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (316) 873 1631
Fax: +43 (316) 873 1632