Amid the uncertainty the UK’s vote for Brexit has created, there is still plenty of hope for the future of the UK and its property market in particular. With that in mind we’ve been intrigued by the ‘At Home in Britain’ exhibition curated by the Royal Institute of Architects in London (RIBA).
The event is currently showcasing work from a selection of 6 architects and their visions for the house of tomorrow. RIBA’s brief was for three traditional British homes – a flat, a terraced house and a cottage – to be re-designed for modern-day, contemporary living.
The reason for this particular brief? A population that’s growing faster than home construction with the best ideas suitable across the whole of the UK and to appease a wide-array of tastes and living styles. For designs to have a realistic chance of being put into use, they must also be fairly easily constructed and come in at an affordable budget.
“Fresh architectural insights have, in days gone by, been needed to address problems and have even introduced new ways of living, said Wimbledon estate agents Robert Homes. “These new designs could provide the inspiration to create the homes the UK needs for its growing population,”
The six designs are open for viewing so you can decide if any of them could work in the UK – a country with a rapidly growing population but limited scope for mass construction
One of the two architects who was given the flats brief, Dutch firm Mecanoo, came up with a low-rise structure containing 60-70 flats of varying sizes. They include studios to more spacious apartments that were more accessible for the elderly. This, Mecanoo said, was a modern, workable solution that would home a sizable number of people.
A popular style of home for towns and cities is the terraced house which was a solution used to homes workers around industrial work sites. The ideas for this design were certainly interesting and it’s unsure if they would prove popular with Britons. Why? Well, among the ideas from architects vPPR, was “The Party House”. It includes one communal area between two houses or families to be used as a working area, play area and party area.
Jamie Forbert Architects, meanwhile, were awarded the country cottage makeover. The firm considered that while a cottage has a particular feel to it, people might want to indulge in a little more individuality. The way they elected to tackle that was to have outward looking structures that could be constructed in the same way – which should prove cost-effective – and also keep with a general cottage ‘look.’ But, when it came to the inside of the cottage, it could be easily adapted to suit individual requirements and preferences.
“There are lots of innovative ideas on show which could help maximise occupancy levels without making homes feel cramped,” said Eden Harper. “There can be times when architects’ ideas can seem daunting, here though there are lots of elements that could really work. Perhaps that’s what comes of designing homes during an actual housing crisis when there’s not a great deal of Government money to spend.”