Just Do It: Self-Build & Co-Housing in London

Just Do It: Self-Build & Co-Housing in London

Unit 6 argues for an architectural ontology based on sharpening the tension between architecture and its parts. Investigating the production of space trough geometrical studies. Increased computational capabilities are able to push our understanding of architecture as a relationship of objects into an unexpected new domain of previously unachievable spatial complexity, materiality, structure and aesthetics as to create informed well crafted space.


Housing in metropoles has become a highly debated subject over the last decade, as home ownership is becoming increasingly inaccessible asset to the inhabitants of major cities. The subject has been a trigger of many political disputes, turmoil and efforts as to make home ownership more accessible to a wider audience again. This however often causing exactly the opposite result. Housing prices in London are still rocketing, while quality, accessibility and necessary amenities keep tumbling.

The Residential typology has become the most lucrative product to build by private developers due to a continuous increase in demand, in a city where land ownership is very centralised. In London itself where Unit6 will be operating this year, 200k buyers every year remain unsatisfied as they are unable to purchase a home due to a lack of quality and affordable residential properties. This trend has unfortunately created a very robust mass of buyers which are causing a dramatic housing price increase. As property prices are as well no longer in any conjunction with the actual value of the built structure; we Unit6, will aim to find more sustainable and alternative routes for the production of residential typologies. In order to do so we will promote and combine two rather continental European building concepts which have yet to find their way into the UK market. Being Self-built & Co-Housing strategies.

Self-built & Co-housing

We will re-invest in the actual value of the built property by focussing on intelligent tectonics in direct relation with their fabrication logic. investigating a model for designer led construction. Through both digital and traditional construction methods we will engage with the construction logics and turn them into clear design drivers. We will aim to develop a more relevant model for co-housing (5 to 15 housing units) in which designer and other inhabitants of the schemes, become both contractor as well as construction managers. This system would not only allow the architect to redeem his role as an entrepreneurial creative, but would simultaneously contribute to transfer of skills and knowledge in an age where education becomes unaffordable. The territory for our investigations and deployments this year will be across East-London. Where we have selected a number of neglected sites which have not been touched by corporate real estate development due to their complex context and topology.

Through an in depth engagement with digital form finding, appropriate fabrication methods and innovative organisational logics we will aim to deliver spatially ambitious well-crafted propositions which will elevate the standard of living in this metropolis. Piece by Piece! We will sequence the design process through a number of defined milestones as to gradually build up your own skills and consequently the complexity of the proposal. Supported by our own research and skill sets as well as those of invited guest lecturers, we will be particularly focussing on tectonic qualities and performative objectives in direct relationship with communal living scenarios.

Just Do It!