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Homes of the Future: New Exhibit Addresses U.K. Housing Crisis

Six firms rethink traditional architecture

The United Kingdom has a housing problem. The pipeline for building traditional British homes is insufficient to meet demand, and conventional housing types don't quite fit current lifestyles.

To conceptualize more modern and affordable forms of living, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) asked six architecture firms to redesign the House of Tomorrow.

By rethinking three traditional housing types—the cottage, terrace, and flat—the architects explored new approaches to build density and increase affordability in an exhibition now on view at RIBA's Architecture Gallery in London.

So what are the designs like?

Self-built working-class cottages

Jamie Fobert Architects—who also designed the exhibition—were inspired by a 1955 rural Yorkshire housing study performed by Brutalist maven Alison Smithson to design a contemporary timber-frame cottage. The design was influenced by 's 1960s self-build construction methods.

Mix-and-match floor plans

Mae designed a range of exterior materials and interior floor plans for a row of terraced homes, enabling the owner to customize their space.

Turning detached homes into attached cottages

Maison Edouard François proposed building a series of smaller homes attached to free-standing buildings, increasing density within current urban sprawl.

Low-rise co-living

Mecanoo, a Netherlands-based firm, designed a mansion apartment building with a range of spaces and sizes to accommodate the different needs and lifestyles of students, young families, and the elderly.

Apartment Ads for 2025

Studio Weave designed a series of posters advertising the benefits of co-living—a housing trend they feel will only grow more popular over the next decade.

Interstitial communal space

vPPR's "Party House" design replaces the shared walls of row houses with shared space that could be used for a home office, play room, or living room.

6 architects design ‘the house of tomorrow’ [The Spaces]

A Huge Prefab Housing Factory Wants to Shake Up the UK Construction Industry [Curbed]