Your future home could stack together like LEGO bricks and give you the power of customization. Developer Urban Splash has just completed the first phase of the hoUSe project, a pioneering modular development made up of 43 prefab timber pods in New Islington, Manchester. Designed by Liverpool-based shedkm architects, the innovative canal-side hoUSe homes offer an attractive alternative to the typical cookie-cutter developments by allowing buyers to design the layout of their home before moving in.
Designed to combine the best of England’s historic terraced homes and city loft living, hoUSe units not only offer 25% more space than the average new build, but also features a terraced home look with tall ceilings, large windows, a balcony, parking, backyard, and contemporary kitchen. However, the best part of the housing scheme is the flexibility. Homeowners get to customize each unit by telling the developer how much space they want, how they would like to live, and how they would like to use the space.
The hoUSe units are available in two sizes—a two-story 1,000-square-foot unit or a three-story 1,500-square-foot unit—and can be internally configured to fit a variety of needs, such as ‘loft’ living, which places the communal areas on the top floor, or ‘garden’ living, which puts them on the ground level. Each floor can be subdivided into one to three rooms that can be placed and sized however the homeowner desires.
After the buyer submits their design, the home will be built in a factory-controlled environment. Each home is clad in a gray modern exterior punctuated by thick-banded black window bays and topped by a pitched roof. Once complete, each prefab pod can be shipped to the construction site where they’re quickly stacked into place with a crane, thus minimizing waste and noise pollution.
“hoUSe is born from our desire to create something for customers who want to live in well-designed homes and stay in the city centre. We noticed that within UK cities there is a real lack of diversity in terms of new residential stock and our traditional customers – those who had bought and enjoyed Urban Splash flats – would ultimately get older, richer and end up moving to Victorian and Georgian terraces in the suburbs” said Urban Splash Chairman Tom Bloxham MBE. “hoUSe is our way of offering them something in the city. It’s a really exciting prospect and I am as excited by this as I was by our first lofts over 20 years ago. At prices less per square foot than city centre flats, lower maintenance costs than old Victorian houses or blocks of flats, big floorplates, high ceilings and huge windows they have already been well received and I’m certain will be a big part of Urban Splash’s future.”
This pioneering housing scheme has been so popular that the first 43 homes of hoUSe sold out prior to launch. Urban Splash and shedkm have also gained planning permission for 71 more modular homes at Irwell Riverside, which will be available later this year.
Images via Urban Splash