As part of the exhibition Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out, a three and a half storey building called Homeshell has been erected in the Annenberg Courtyard in front of Burlington House.
Homeshell House in the RA Courtyard. Photo: Miguel Santa Clara
The Homeshell is free to visit and will be open to the public until Sunday 8 September. Visitors will be able to go inside the house and view a time lapse film of the installation’s construction and see how the unique building system fits together.
For over fifty years, Richard Rogers has advocated the social objectives of architecture through innovative design and materials. In order to address the increasing housing problem in the UK, his practice Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners (RSHP) has designed the Homeshell, a low-cost house that uses the pioneering technology first developed for their Oxley Woods housing scheme in Milton Keynes.
The Homeshell installation is constructed using a flexible, quick and highly energy efficient building system called Insulshell (developed by Sheffield Insulated Group and Cox Bench). Arriving as flat-pack panels, the Homeshell can be constructed on site in twenty-four hours.
The Insulshell system can be adapted to suit traditionally difficult locations, particularly highly urban or small sites. This will enable more urban brownfield sites (previously built on land) to create more homes and utilise existing transport and infrastructure links, instead of encroaching on the green belt. There is an estimated 63,750 hectares of brownfield in England, of which 51% is derelict or vacant. Other buildings to have used this technology include the Velodrome at the London 2012 Olympics.
After being exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Homeshell will be dismantled and rebuilt on a site in Mitcham, where it will be fitted out as the show house for prospective tenants for the YMCA South West Y:Cube Housing project, designed by RSHP.