A House for London – Container House

Built to coincide with the London Design Festival 2015 and exhibited outside the Building Centre as part of a wider exhibition on Housing in London, A House for London is a prefabricated structure constructed from two specially adapted shipping containers and offers a potential solution to one of our generation’s most pressing issues – the lack of affordable housing.

The project looks at how underused and brownfield sites within our urban environments can be appropriated to provide accommodation. Prefabricated housing can provide an accessible, affordable and appropriate use of such sites and possibly could prove to be an interim solution to the lack of housing within the Capital. The cost of this new home is just 5% of the average London property.

The use of shipping containers is a proven method for quickly constructing durable, adaptable buildings around the world. However, it has not been seriously applied to the context of the London housing crisis which calls for faster, more flexible solutions to inhabit under-used land. The raw material is there in ready supply: recycled shipping containers exist by the million worldwide, while new forms (such as a high-strength steel model) may be the future, creating containers that are designed for re-use.

Arup has designed a simpler, more resilient low voltage direct current (DC) energy network for the container home. This network allows for storing energy within the home improving energy security, affordability and sustainability.

Importantly, this also means that the structure can operate independently of the main grid. In the long term, this different approach to energy management within the domestic environment could turn energy consumers into an energy producers and begin to democratise energy generation.


Client:
The Building Centre

Collaborators:
Arup

Completed:
2015