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Richard Rogers’ Pre-Fab Y-Cube Takes on UK Housing Crisis

The Y-Cube Deployed. Image Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The Y-Cube, a £30,000 factory-built 26 square meter flat which can be easily transported and craned into place, has been prototyped and successfully tested in the UK. The YMCA asked Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to create the Y-Cube, an affordable alternative for residents moving on from the non-profit’s hostels. And now, the YMCA wants more of these one-bedroom dwellings.

“The beauty is that the units can be moved off site as quickly as they are installed,” says Andy Redfearn of the YMCA, “as we operate on short-term leases – we expect people to stay [in the Y-Cube] for between three to five years, giving them time to skill up and save for a deposit.”

The red oblong box, which has already been nicknamed ‘the Monopoly hotel,’ takes eight weeks to build in the factory and one week to install on site. Rented out at £140 per week, the YMCA projects the project will pay for itself in 15 years and guarantee a 5% return to speculating “social investors.”

Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The prototype, tested this February, achieved the highest rating (Level 6) of the code for sustainable homes in the UK, prompting the YMCA to order 36 more units for a large-scale test site in Mitcham. The units will be stacked three-high and arranged in a horse-shoe configuration around a small garden. A second 36-unit scheme received planning permission this week for the Leather Gardens estate in Newham.

Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

“The next step is to find a bigger scheme. If we can get the demand right – something like 150-plus units per year – the aim would have a factory in the borough itself, employing local people at the heart of the community,” says Ivan Harbour, the RSH+P partner in charge of the project.

Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Read more at the Guardian and BD Online.

Courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Cite: Gipe, Andrew. "Richard Rogers’ Pre-Fab Y-Cube Takes on UK Housing Crisis" 27 Feb 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 Feb 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=481039>
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