The brief we set ourseves in this AHRC-funded Knowledge Transfer project 'Designing the Workhome: from theory to practice', was to create a Design Guide for the workhome through the design of a dozen exemplary buildings. But where to start? Architecture relies on the constraints of site and brief, budget and context. We had none of these. Having distilled 44 Design Considerations from the underlying research, we calculated there were more than 9 million possible combinations. How would we choose which dozen buildings to design?
We selected 16 'proto-clients' to develop designs around. It gradually became apparent that a simple rectilinear volume, structurally rigid without internal bracing from floors or partitions and that could come in SMLXL versions, could be manipultated to meet the needs of all sixteen. A series of spatial arrangements for workhomes was developed from there [see Pattern Book].
Islington Housing Design Competition and the RIBA international Salford House 4 Life Competition offered opportunities to test these spatial arrangements, and the ideas behind them, against real briefs and on real sites. In addition it offered the chance to extend the Knowledge Transfer.
Islington Housing Design Competition
Our submission, made in partnership with FBN Architects [and with Baufritz [UK] Ltd and Cyril Sweett PLC in the Consortium] was not shortlisted. However feedback stated "Workhome is a good idea... The micro-workbox is an idea worth pursuing."
Salford House 4 Life Competition
Our submission, made in partnership with Cazenove Architects [and with Baufritz [UK] Ltd, Cyril Sweett PLC, Contour Homes, Godliman Watson Homes, Whitelaw Turkington in the Consortium], was put on a short-list of three [out of 60 entries] in January 2011.