Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) have unveiled a three story flat-pack house in the courtyard of London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA). Designed as an answer to the UK’s urgent need for cost-effective housing, the prototype demonstrates a method of building "high-quality, well-designed houses significantly cheaper than other traditional methods of construction."
RSHP, known for their large-scale projects, envisage Homeshell as part of a wider platform which could encompass apartments, schools, factories and healthcare centers.
The house was constructed on-site in 24 hours using Insulshell, a closed frame timber panel system described by RSHP as "energy efficient, adaptable, simple, and very low tech." Due to high levels of acoustic and thermal insulation, "the system offers the potential to reduce energy bills by up to 90%," with the panels also being fire and water retardant, as well as earthquake and hurricane proof.
The prototype is part of Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out, a retrospective exhibition on view until October 13, 2013, documenting past projects such as the Pompidou Centre (with Renzo Piano) and Lloyds of London. The Homeshell, in place until September 8, offers both a vision of the practice’s trajectory whilst continuing the debate surrounding how innovation in architecture can help us meet the growing demands of building in urban areas.