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house portfolio

neighbourhoods created with modular homes

House is the umbrella concept for our modular work with Urban Splash, re-inventing the terraced house and exploring the capabilities of off-site construction to deliver beautiful modern homes, on a large scale, efficiently and sustainably.

Modular housing continues to afford some of the most exciting opportunities to provide affordable, future-proof housing solutions which genuinely enhance our quality of life.

House is itself a response to a radical notion in housing – the desire to introduce an element of consumer choice – and provides modern, spacious, flexible homes, with greater choice available for a variety of income levels and types of household. The concept is a direct challenge to the established typologies of the major UK housebuilders, exploiting clever modular planning to create spacious, flexible, modern and sustainable homes with the ability to customise.

Client:

House by Urban Splash

Location:

Various

Size:

  • 410 homes over six sites

Contract value:

N/A

Awards:

Won: 2021 Housing Design Award (Row House), 2018 What House? Award, Estates Gazette Award, Offsite Award (Town House)

town house

Town House, which was the result of four years of research and prototyping, was our first House product. Factory built to order, before being delivered to site fully finished, these flexible houses were designed to offer purchasers a choice of sizes, spaces and layouts, alongside options for kitchen, bathroom and finishes, all within a standardised, pre-fabricated shell.

creating neighbourhoods

The capacity of these products for large scale roll out, means they have a significant role to play in placemaking. Highly contextual they can be adapted to address the unique architectural or environmental characteristics of a location, contributing to the creation of new neighbourhoods and communities, with bold, desirable homes.

adapting and evolving

House products are not static ideas but benefit from a process of continuous improvement to introduce further variations which can better respond to context, orientation and environmental performance, whilst still maintaining standardisation and repetition. This might include more varied external material options, or a component-based approach to elevations which allows for standard features such as balconies, sizes of windows and solar shading to be composed in a variety of ways and in different sizes. We are also exploring new house types aimed at different sectors of the market and employing different MMC technologies.

a tailored home

The challenge was to design a base plan capable of multiple configurations and/or adaptations without compromising the integrity of the original concept. Allowing customers to tailor their new home to their individual taste, offering 130,000 possible permutations. This is achieved through a rigorous organisation of the plan with fixed zones for circulation and services and a defining logic giving possible locations of internal walls generating a series of standard room sizes. These fixed parameters allow a wider range of layout options within a standardised shell. Purchasers can select from a variety of layouts and finished or chose to fit out the shell themselves.

Town House was first piloted as part of New Islington’s ‘Millennium Community’, where we took the familiar pitched roof form and turned it longitudinally to create a long ‘loft style, spacious homes aimed at the contemporary urban house buying market.

consumer choice

Consumers had a choice of two- or three- storey houses, with the options of loft or garden focussed living spaces, with open plan or more traditional layouts. The raw shell of the house contained a stair, kitchen and bathroom pod, combined within a series of layouts which can accommodate between one and six bedrooms. Space standards are generous, with large windows and exceptional insulation levels.

To date Town House has been rolled out at New Islington, Manchester; Smith’s Dock, Tyneside; Northstowe, Cambridgeshire; Irwell Riverside, Salford: Port Loop, Birmingham and Wirral Waters, Merseyside.

mansion house

Mansion House develops the product range with a new mid-rise typology based on smaller groups of apartments, The model is designed to create a stronger sense of community ownership, and offer a more neighbourly option for high density living with shared circulation.

Alongside all the usual benefits of a house product – generous space standards, large windows, high ceilings and built-in storage – Mansion House offers a variety of unit sizes (one-, two- and three-bedroom) all interchangeable within a common plan and core arrangement. Every apartment is dual aspect and has at least one good sized balcony. Top floor apartments open onto roof spaces for extra volume. Four-, five- and six-storey blocks can be created with additional options for ground floor retail, commercial or parking dependent on the needs of each location.

future flexibility

Mindful of the carbon reduction agenda, Mansion House uses a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, exposed in living and sleeping spaces to create beautiful timber interiors. Buyers can choose from nine alternative layouts, arranged around a central kitchen. Future flexibility is built-in with an option for some walls to be moved to accommodate changing needs. The series of interchangeable ground floor solutions, be it garden apartments, retail or commercial units or simply parking, cycle and refuse stores make for a very flexible concept.

row house

Our latest factory-built home, Row House, features our most innovative thinking around modular layouts, with efficient internal space and open-up features that offer additional outdoor living space. The first Row House homes, with distinct red cladding, are being built at Wirral Waters, a new riverside neighbourhood in Merseyside. In this location they will feature a distinctive red ribbed metal cladding, a contextual response to the dockside infrastructure. The precision, factory-made Row Houses offer a range of possibilities with homes available in three interchangeable sizes, ten different internal layouts, and with private terraces and communal gardens, allowing residents to create various streetscapes, informed by the decisions of homebuyers.