In my recent discussion of the several ways of reappropriating public space in cities (see: The Amazing Urban Race), it seems too apt that a recent winner of an international design competition has been recognized for such efforts in improving the lives and community of people in London.
Levitt Bernstein was recently declared the winner of the international HOME competition put on by Building Trust International with the Pop-Up HAWSE housing development in downtown Hackey in London.
Their creative and efficient proposal for Pop-Up HAWSEs (Homes through Apprenticeships With Skills for Employment) is an inspiring look at how we can use disused and obsolete space in cities.
These HAWSEs are created using disused parking garages in the center of London for rental and use by London’s homeless population. The cost to create these homes is estimated at 13,000 euro per unit but the effects could definitely be life-changing, both for individuals, families and the community at large. A type of off-site kit is used to create each aspect of the pop-up home, including panels, ceiling, floor and fixtures. It makes the space and furnishings able to be disassembled and reused elsewhere. Each unit has a bed, a bathroom, as well as a small kitchen area. A larger communal kitchen and living area is available for every five units.
HAUSE challenges our ability to create successful, impactful, yet temporary means at solving rising urban issues such as population density, lack of housing, and increasing housing prices. This innovative approach reminds us once again that reappropriating disused or misused space is a great way to start improving our cities.
What in your neighborhood could use some revamping?