What is the Workhome project?
In 2002 when researching a student design project she was setting, for a building that combined dwelling and workplace, Frances Holliss, an architect and academic at London Metropolitan University, found that there was nothing [apparently] written on this overall building type. This opened up a major area of research.
Holliss completed a PhD in the subject, framed as the architecture of home-based work, in 2007. In this she traced the history of this old but neglected building type, from medieval times to the present day, as a way of establishing its existence. She also analysed its contemporary form through a close scrutiny of the lives and premises of 76 home-based workers in urban, suburban and rural contexts in England.
The Arts and Humanities Research Council recognised the importance of this work when they awarded a Knowledge Transfer Fellowship for the development of a Design Guide and Pattern Book for the workhome. This website is one of the primary outputs from this project.
Formalised as an on-going research centre, the Workhome Project has since been awarded follow-on funding by the AHRC [as part of the Connected Communities programme] to investigate home-based work amongst the social tenants of one of London's largest housing associataions. This project has been designed as a lead-in to a larger project working with difficult-to-use existing housing stock. The Workhome Project has also been short-listed, in collaboration with Cazenove Architects and Baufritz [UK] Ltd, for the RIBA International Salford House 4 Life architectural competition.