With house prices in London higher than ever and the benefits system offering increasingly meagre support for the vulnerable, many people in the capital are facing a choice between homelessness or a fight for a rare room in a shared accommodation hostel. But a new scheme from architects at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and YMCA London South West may provide a solution to the growing housing crisis.
Together, they've designed the Y:Cube. A 280 sq ft, stackable home, the studio apartments provide a single person prefabricated accommodation, made almost entirely from recycled or renewable materials.
Inside there's room for a bedroom with en-suite bathroom, and a combined kitchen and living area. Occupants will have a degree of control over the layout of each Y:Cube, with the buildings offering adjustable partition walls and room to add extra windows at a later date.
Costing £30,000 to build, rents would be set at between £125 to £175 per week, with the units having a 60 year life span. Testing has shown that the well-insulated spaces can be lit and heated day and night to 20° C for just £7 a week, keeping energy costs comparably low too.