As a company that embraces innovation in the UK housing industry, the aims of architect Bill Dunster's pop-up properties resonate with us here at Iceni Homes.
The need to build affordable housing for keyworkers – and indeed citizens from all walks of life – has never been greater, and Dunster’s unique – if tiny – flat designs present some fascinating ways to tackle the issue.
Each of Dunster's pods occupies 74 square feet of space, and are designed to be erected on stilts over park-and-ride facilities and car parks. By turning parking areas into dual-use land, Dunster is potentially opening up thousands of hectares of building space across the country.
The properties are modest in size, with space for a kitchen and living room on the first floor and a bedroom on the second floor. But these diminutive homes also boast solar panels, recycling systems and even charge-points for electric cars.
Mr Dunster (OBE) is in talks with Oxford City Council about the possibility of erecting the properties over the city's park-and-ride facilities, but councillors are yet to make a decision.
However, the architect says he is also in talks with local authorities in London and Bath about trialling the pods.
Here at Iceni Homes we understand the tasks ahead of Dunster. As a developer of properties in both urban and rural locations, often with affordability as a prime requirement, we have provided comprehensive building solutions to organisations of all types within the UK housing industry.
In order to complete these often large-scale projects on time and on budget, innovation is very important – in all aspects of a development. Acting as a main contractor, our developments include rural housing, regeneration projects, supported housing, shared ownership, shared equity, Section 106 schemes, housing for market rent and sale, intermediate rent, key worker accommodation and conversion of existing dwellings and refurbishments.
Such a diverse range of developments certainly benefits from innovation.
But the ability to bring all project stakeholders together in a harmonious way is also crucial. Here at Iceni Homes our integrated, open approach to unifying stakeholder objectives for the good of everyone – particular residents – is at the heart of our success.
Bill Dunster’s innovative pop-up properties project will require a similar ability to assimilate all stakeholder's needs, in the pursuit of creating affordable housing in which residents can prosper and enjoy life.