Over in the Mitcham, a suburban district of south London, British starchitect Richard Rogers and his firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have just completed a prefab residential complex that will house 36 homeless youth in the area starting this week. Save for the bright pops of red, orange, and yellow, the design is rather no-nonsense: the 280-square-foot modules (each featuring an open living-kitchen area and an ensuite bedroom) stack together to form an easily transportable housing compound that could be setup in underused sites across Greater London.
Designed for the charity YMCA, the so-called Y:Cube complex hopes to kickstart more affordable housing efforts in the region. Each unit costs between $46K and $54K and took about a week to construct and another week to assemble on site. According to Dezeen, Ivan Harbour, a partner at the firm, says the project is all about "keeping the rent down" so people can put away more savings and "eventually get on the more conventional housing ladder," a.k.a. purchasing a house of their own.
That said, the rent, calculated at 65 percent of local market value, comes out to roughly $230 per week, which becomes something like $920 a month—so, "affordable" only in the context of London's wild, wild real estate market. Still, it's a welcome start.
Here's a time lapse of the construction process, followed by more photos.
· Richard Rogers' prefabricated housing for homeless people opens in south London [Dezeen]
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· An Awesome Vintage Clip of Prefab Houses in '60s London [Curbed]