Sunday, 1 September 2013


INSIDE OUT, Burlington Gardens, until October 13th

'... the exhibition gives an overarching sense of a man dedicated to making places for all people - and having a good time in doing so'. (The Guardian) 

Homeshell House in the Royal Academy Courtyard. Photo: Miguel Santa Clara 

The Homeshell House is designed to coincide with Richard Roger’s  current show Inside Out at Burlington Gardens. Is this installation architecture or social engineering? Perhaps a showpiece for cutting edge technology?  
Or is it Art? 

It's probably all of those things. Its purpose is to provoke a debate about how architectural and construction innovation together might help meet the UK’s current desperate need for low cost housing.

For The Homeshell is a three-and-half-storey building designed to arrive as flat-pack panels on one truck and to take only 24 hours to assemble on site, using a flexible, quick and highly energy-efficient building system.  Walk inside - it's an empty shell -  then stand and allow your imagination to  take over. You can view a time lapse film of the installation’s construction while you are there too. Or you can follow the link below. The building is open to the public until 8 September.

 London in particular has a huge problem. In some areas owners of flats and houses only have to do nothing while their property rises by tens of thousands of pounds, hundreds of thousands of pounds, millions of pounds or even tens of millions.  There's an increasing demand for properties by people from overseas who find it handy to have a London base, but will have no need for local libraries or schools or shops or community activities. Meanwhile London has the highest proportion of recorded rough sleeping of any area in England. Thousands of families are homeless or living in overcrowded premises. Too few affordable houses are being built and each year the situation gets worse.

'When buildings contribute to the public realm, they encourage people to meet and converse,,,they humanise the city' (Rogers). The good news is that The Homeshell House can be adapted to suit traditionally difficult locations, particularly highly urban or small sites.  The construction uses a building system called Insulshell, (developed by Sheffield Insulations Group (SIG) and Coxbench). 

After being exhibited at the Royal Academy, The Homeshell will be dismantled and rebuilt on a site in Mitcham, where it will be fitted out as the show house for prospective tenants.  

A publication accompanying Inside Out is available from

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