Architecture

Cube Haus aims to disrupt housing market with architect-designed prefabs

David Adjaye’s Cube Haus design is an adaptive modular home that can respond to a sites’s challenges
David Adjaye’s Cube Haus design is an adaptive modular home that can respond to a sites’s challenges
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David Adjaye’s Cube Haus design is an adaptive modular home that can respond to a sites’s challenges
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David Adjaye’s Cube Haus design is an adaptive modular home that can respond to a sites’s challenges
The key spaces that make up David Adjaye's house have been divided into separate modules
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The key spaces that make up David Adjaye's house have been divided into separate modules
Both of Carl Turner Architects' Cube Haus designs are designed around a central courtyard. This one features two floors
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Both of Carl Turner Architects' Cube Haus designs are designed around a central courtyard. This one features two floors
Carl Turner Architects' other Cube Haus is a single-storey house with an expansive flat roof 
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Carl Turner Architects' other Cube Haus is a single-storey house with an expansive flat roof 
Designer Faye Toogood's home is intended to suit both rural and urban contexts
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Designer Faye Toogood's home is intended to suit both rural and urban contexts
Faye Toogood's homes come with multiple interior and exterior finish options
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Faye Toogood's homes come with multiple interior and exterior finish options
Skene Catling de la Peña’s design for Cube Haus is centered around a stove that will provide heating and cooking, as well as serving as structural core of the house
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Skene Catling de la Peña’s design for Cube Haus is centered around a stove that will provide heating and cooking, as well as serving as structural core of the house
Skene Catling de la Peña’s central stove includes an integrated staircase, fireplace, hob and oven
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Skene Catling de la Peña’s central stove includes an integrated staircase, fireplace, hob and oven

London's relatively expensive housing market means owning an architect-designed home is out of reach for many residents of the UK capital. A new company aims to address this by selling prefabricated houses designed by top-drawer architects at a reasonable price. To do so, it'll squeeze them into underused plots like alleyways, wasteland, and even the roofs of other buildings.

Cube Haus is well-placed to source suitable land for its projects as company directors Paul Tully and Philip Bueno de Mesquita also set up Land Converter, a company that enables homeowners to sell off part of their garden, garage, or roof space for development. The houses will be built in factories in the UK and made from CLT (cross laminated timber) frames, with sustainably-sourced cladding materials.

"The Cube Haus delivery model creates economies of scale that make innovative architectural design very accessible: people who might never have considered using an architect, let alone a renowned contemporary practice, will be able to do so," says a press release. "The houses will either be commissioned and installed by Cube Haus on sites that the company acquires, or will be available to buy as an 'off-the-peg' solution for self builders."

The firm has a very impressive roster of designers and architects on its books, consisting of high-profile architect Sir David Adjaye's firm, RIBA House of the Year winner Skene Catling De La Peña, RIBA Manser Medal winner Carl Turner Architects and interior, fashion and furniture designer Faye Toogood. Each of the designs on offer is flexible and intended to fit into plots of different sizes and to serve different needs.

Both of Carl Turner Architects' Cube Haus designs are designed around a central courtyard. This one features two floors
Both of Carl Turner Architects' Cube Haus designs are designed around a central courtyard. This one features two floors

Adjaye Associates' home can be stacked upwards or spread sideways, depending on the requirements at the site in question, while Carl Turner's two models focus on a central courtyard. Skene Catling de la Peña's home is designed around a multipurpose stove that will serve as structural core of the house. Finally, Faye Toogood's single-story home is designed to suit both rural and urban contexts (Cube Haus' focus is on London only for now but the team hopes to expand elsewhere if all goes well).

It's important to stress that Cube Haus doesn't offer cheap homes. Rather, they should prove more affordable than usual for an architect-designed home in London – a city where a 91-inch house can command £1 million (US$1.4 million).

The Guardian reports that Cube Haus aims to sell one of its three bedroom homes for around £750,000 (roughly $1 million). A total of three Cube Haus homes are currently in the pre-planning stage in Forest Gate, Peckham and Ealing.

Source: Cube Haus

4 comments
CAVUMark
What would Louis XIV say?
Johannes
Louis XIV would say "It is legal because I wish it."
Nik
This seems like an architects 'invention' of container homes, and damned expensive ones at that. A container home could be built for a tenth of the price of these units!
Alexander Lowe
Charming though these houses are - in the sense of exemplifying a sort of 'purity of industrial design' motif - they are not the solution to the housing crisis in the UK. What that requires is not so much technical, architectural innovation, more politicians finally having the courage to tackle a huge social problem. One measure that might help would be radical reform of the tax system, to deter acquisition of land & property as a safe investment (much of it owned by foreign money via shell companies & the now notorious tax havens) which has driven house-prices sky-high in Greater London. The cancer has spread to anywhere within reasonable commuting distance as well.
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