AJ Barratt Home of the Future

ZCD Architects, 2015

One house, four homes.

ZCD Architects have developed the idea of one building that can be adapted into four homes, responding to the four stages of family life, as described in the competition brief for customer groups 1, 2, 3 and 4. Each home is derived from an identical base, shown here as Type A; the home for customer group 1. The home is designed to be able to grow and adapt over the lifetime of the family, according to changing need.

The following images show how the homes combine in various arrangements to form a unique neighbourhood; with the relationship of each home to its neighbours being carefully considered and arranged around car-free shared gardens that will be full of community life.

We have designed the homes to be adaptable to changing technology and for the community to be engaged in managing and controlling their shared environment in such a way that will respond to local needs as well as foster a strong community. Over time, as the neighbourhood changes, each home will retain a sense of individual identity, privacy and arrangement of internal spaces that meet the need of the family. The strategy for extending the home allows for customer choice within a guiding set of clear design principles.

The idea is to develop a unique construction system with Barratt Homes that will bring to the market a building that is capable of growing and adapting over its lifespan. It will be designed to anticipate improving thermal performance requirements as well as resolving structural, party wall, weathering and waterproofing requirements in its abutments and connections. This process of developing and refining our idea for the benefit of creating a product that is marketable and profitable means it has potential to be a truly innovative design. As a home of the future it responds to changing family structures, will provide greater support to homebuyers through the option of home improvement and provides external/shared spaces derived from ongoing observational research at ZCD into how people use shared space in housing schemes across the UK.

The adjacent diagrams show a single home changing from Type A, through to Type D. The base structure of the house, Type A, is a prefabricated timber cassette or metal sub frame, clad in dark brick, with timber framed windows. The volumetric construction method is simplified by the single base structure. Future additions and larger types utilise the same super structure methods. At second floor this is clad with timber boards and coloured composite panels on the walls and roof. The pitched form of the roof is strengthened by the rigidity built into the stair core, which frees up the roof void to be used as mezzanine sleeping space or storage if required.

Building on Barratt’s strong business model, we propose an extended relationship with the home owner that would continue beyond sale, or be transferred to a sister company, creating a revenue stream from additions and improvements to the home as the family grows and changes. We anticpate that planning permission would be secured in perpetuity which would allow the development to grow over its lifetime. A joined-up design, ordering, fabricating and delivery process ‘window’ would be offered to the home owner once a year. Orders placed for extensions would be fabricated within two weeks of confirmation, and with purchase costs around £2,500 per sq metre, would provide a cheaper alternative than moving for the family.


ArchitectureZCD Architects