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A Model for Affordable Living in Shoreditch

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A Model for Affordable Living in Shoreditch

July 24, 2012

A $2.3 million modern home in London is actually a prototype for affordable urban living. But wait; let me explain.

Designed by Cox Bulleid Architects, the Shoreditch Prototype House has four levels, three bedrooms, and a large office studio space. It has the spirit of a townhouse, as its ample vertical space belies its modest 1,808 square feet. To the architects, the home was an opportunity to test their concept of a “garden city” in a crowded urban locale. They gave the home three full balconies and a sizeable courtyard, all covered in climbing foliage from the front gate to the top of the house. Cox Bulleid also wanted to test building a low-energy home with affordable materials, but still generously sized for a family. Though it’s easy to scoff at the home’s selling price, the architects applied this project’s lessons to a Prototype Green Terrace housing project, which features clusters of four-story terraced homes with climbing green walls and flexible floor plans, each with its own gardening space and low-energy infrastructure. Applying the lessons of the Shoreditch home toward plans for affordable, eco-friendly urban living is a laudable effort, and one we’d love to see come to fruition.

N.B. The Shoreditch house is currently for sale; check The Modern House estate agents for more information.

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Above: The green wall is made of fragrant climbing pants; the foliage lends an organic frame for city views.

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Above: The facade is covered in windows to absorb maximum heat and light. The building is amply insulated to retain heat in the winter, and the green wall provides shade for the windows in summer.

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Above: The living room shares an open floor plan with the dining room and kitchen on the main (first) floor.

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Above: The long, lean kitchen makes clever use of open shelving; there’s little room for disarray in a single open shelf, which draws the eye and serves almost as artwork.

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Above: The deceptively simple kitchen opens into a dramatic double-height, sky-lit ceiling.

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Above: On the second floor landing, a glass window looks onto the kitchen’s light-filled void.

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Above: A single stacked staircase carries the occupants through their four floors and also helps to draw cool air into the home during the summer months. For visual impact, the architects painted the stair undersides gray.

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Above: Bedrooms on the second and third floors each have their own private terraces, with ready-made gardens via the green wall.

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Above: Occupants enter through the home’s ground floor; they either take the stairs to the main living space or linger in the ample work studio.

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Above: The studio serves as an elegant office as well as overflow motorcycle parking. Room for full car parking is on the courtyard at left.

Looking for more inspiration? See 157 Modern Spaces with Open Floor Plans in our new Gallery of rooms and spaces.

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