Located in Clay Avenue in Mitcham, south west London, Y:Cube is an off-site manufactured housing project for single people in housing need. Created for the YMCA, the world’s oldest and largest youth charity, the 36-apartment affordable accommodation scheme was designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
The development was designed as move-on accommodation for people leaving homelessness hostels and supported housing schemes. The apartments are being rented out at 65 per cent of the market rate in the area. Says Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, “This saving is possible due to the off-site method of construction, which in turn led to a far quicker build programme – in this case around five months. The construction methodology and speed of installation mean each unit cost significantly less than a conventionally built equivalent.”
Adds Ivan Harbour, Senior Partner and Lead Architect for Y:Cube, “Y:Cube offers generous space and exceptional insulation, daylight and acoustics. By delivering high-quality accommodation using quick and cost-effective volumetric technology, we hope to offer a new model for house building in the future.”
Y:Cube uses a pre-constructed modular system that enables the streamlined units to stack easily on top or alongside each other, making it completely adaptable to the size and space available and therefore ideal for tight urban sites. Each unit is constructed from high quality, eco-efficient materials (primarily renewable timber), creating accommodation that is so well insulated, that they require little or no heating, even in winter months. This presents further valuable savings as the cost of energy rises.
The Y:Cube units are 26sqm studio-like apartments, for single occupancy, that arrive on site as self-contained units. Each unit is constructed in the factory with all the services already incorporated. Therefore, the water, heating and electricity can be easily connected to existing facilities or to other Y:Cubes already on site. This ‘plug and play’ approach results in a modular, demountable system of apartments that are perfectly designed for brownfield sites. Additional units can be added if needed and whole developments can be taken apart and rebuilt in new locations.