With modular homes on the rise, it seems to be time to bid farewell to long months and even years of construction and salute fast-paced, pre-fabricated systems arriving across the globe. At the Royal Academy in London as part of the Inside Out exhibition, Richard Rogers’ firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) has introduced an innovative, environmentally efficient, three-and-a-half story home called the Homeshell. It is meant to inspire discussion about affordable mass housing. The flat-packed home on display contains individually installed windows and boasts a low environmental impact. Colorful facade materials enliven the closed timber frame system.
Above: Construction crews raise the building from scratch to fill the courtyard in minutes, piece by piece.
Constructed of Insulshell—a malleable, cost- and energy-efficient building system developed by Sheffield Insulated Group and Cox Bench—the Homeshell arrives as flat-pack panels on a single truck and takes a mere 24 hours to construct on site using tilt-up construction techniques.
Within the structure, visitors can watch a time-lapse film of the construction and learn how the building system fits together. The Homeshell is open to the public until September 8, and then the installation will be disassembled and recreated in Mitcham, where it will serve as the showhouse for the YMCA South West Y:Cube Housing project’s potential tenants, designed by RSHP.
According to RSHP senior partner Ivan Harbour, the Homeshell “delivers generous space, exceptional insulation, daylight and acoustics. We believe it holds many answers for well-designed and sustainable urban living and could change the way we think about our housing into the future. Having it at the Royal Academy will provoke debate about how architectural innovation might help us meet the UK’s housing needs—for everyone.”
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