The UK is in the midst of a housing crisis, the intricacies of which were detailed by Rowan Moore earlier this year. For decades the typical British housing stock has been of relatively poor quality, proliferated by developer-led consortiums and characterised by ruthless cost-efficiency for maximum profit. From this formula comes nothing but a monotony of off-the-shelf constructions which have, over time, become a national benchmark. These houses – often built of brick, boxy in form, and using as little space in the facade for openings – are commonly dark, spatially inadequate, and far below the standards that should be being aimed for. It’s like living in a well-appointed cave.
As a counter to this unfortunate truth some companies are offering new, more unique ways to build your own house – thereby ditching the builder and the architect in one move. In a recent article for The Guardian, Shane Hickey introduces the Hivehaus which is, according to their marketing statement, "an innovative new concept in modular living space – inspired by nature – influenced by modernism and constructed using unconventional building techniques."
Perhaps an "anti-builder" and "anti-architect” movement for first-time buyers is not such a bad thing. It proves that architects, contractors, developers and local authorities should, generally speaking, aim higher.
Read the article in full here.