Housing for the homeless needn't be drab. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ recently completed prefabricated Y:Cube housing scheme for the homeless has just received its first tenants in Mitchum, London. And it is refreshingly humane. Designed in collaboration with the YMCA London South West, manufacturers SIG, and project managers AECOM, the inspiring 36-unit project was manufactured in a Derbyshire factory and then transported and stacked, unit-by-unit, onsite like a series of building blocks. The affordable and quick factory-building housing project took only five months to complete and offers an innovative and colorful response to the city’s housing crisis.
The three-story Y:Cube was built on a former brownfield and created specifically as move-on accommodation for single people leaving homelessness hostels and supported housing schemes. The units are 26-square-meter single-occupancy studios prefabricated off-site so that the water, heating, and electricity can be easily connected to existing facilities and the other Y:Cube units. The ‘plug-and-play’ setup makes it easy for builders to add new units, replace damaged units, or take apart the housing complex and rebuild it in a new location.
Renewable timber was the primary building material used in the Y:Cube, which surpasses Level 4 in the Code for Sustainable Homes. The multicolored units’ U-shaped arrangement around a central courtyard and roomy balconies help foster a sense of community. Each unit features tall ceilings and plenty of natural daylight for a spacious feel. Rent is set at 65 percent below market rate. High-efficiency insulation also helps to reduce energy costs.
“Y:Cube is a fantastic example of the innovative housing projects we support to address a range of housing demands. We need bold ideas to stimulate growth and address the historic failure to build enough homes and modular construction has an important role,” said Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor of Housing, GLA.
Via The Guardian
Images via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners