If you're familiar with architect Richard Rogers, it's likely through buildings like the Pompidou Center and the London Shard, where the guts of the structure — from lifts to plumbing — are put on display. But did you know Rogers is also pioneering a new generation of flatpack prefab housing?
The 80-year-old architect is the subject of a retrospective at London's Royal Academy earlier this year, and as part of the expansive show, the Academy is highlighting his work with prefab. In the courtyard of their neoclassical building, curators invited Rogers and his team to build one of their three-story prefab housing units, which typically take less than 24 hours to construct. The architects explain the advantages on their website:
The panels have the advantage of being lightweight, very fire and water retardant, and even earthquake and hurricane proof. A patented jointing system ensures high levels of both acoustic and thermal insulation and the system offers the potential to reduce energy bills by up to 90%, thereby helping to alleviate fuel poverty, a growing issue in Britain today.
The same model — which arrives on the bed of a truck — was used to build Rogers' 2007 housing development, Oxley Woods. That development didn't quite spark a prefab revolution in London. But The Independent reports that as England is wracked by austerity measures, Rogers' courtyard demonstration might give the prefab dream some new fuel. Check out the great time-lapse below. [Guardian]