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