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A House for Life

Each floor of the house uses the same framework or ‘chassis’, which includes water supplies, waste pipes and electricity, as well as providing the structure of the rooms. This means that it is very simple to adapt the house to different living requirements; in particular it is easy to convert the utility room into a full bathroom, and to convert an upstairs room into a kitchen. Taken together with the discreet ‘pocket’ doors which act as both doors and room dividers, it is very easy to reconfigure the house as a pair of single floor apartments, accessed by an independent shared entrance hall and staircase.

The house can therefore adapt to the owners changing spatial requirements and financial needs over their lifetime. In a typical arrangement, the house is purchased by a young couple who fund the mortgage by sub-letting the upper floor. They start a family as their income increases and are able to expand to occupy the whole house. The simple flexible room arrangements allow the house to adapt to the needs of a growing family. Once the children have left home the top floor can again be sub-let to supplement pension payments.

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