Design4D's Shell House shortlisted for this years British Homes Awards
The Shell House is a new form of urban housing which answers the problems of elderly mobility within the home, the aspiration for a garden view without the maintenance upkeep required and the need to build a sustainable community in order to reduce crime. The Shell House is also economical to construct, ecologically and socially sustainable, attractive to all age groups and flexible to changing lifestyles.
The Shell House extends the garden into a very low maintenance sedum roof with Velux rooflights drawing light into the rear spaces of the house. The largest expanse of glazing faces South to enhance Winter solar gain whilst also providing expansive views of an artificial landscape created by the neighbour's sedum roofs. When the upkeep of a garden becomes too much work it can be replaced with sedum, thereby maintaining the landscape vista.
Traditional terraced houses face each other across a street with views between neighbours restricting elevational distances between buildings. The Shell House enables the ground floor plan to extend nearer to the neighbour's site through its use of Velux rooflights thereby providing ground floor bedroom space as well as views of a low profile 'landscape' rather than an unmaintained backyard or neighbouring brickwork elevation.
The Shell House is a simple construction of insulated blockwork cross walls with SIP panels spanning between them and covered in a sedum roof. This 'shell' provides the flexibility for the house to transform over the occupants whole lifetime to suit their requirements for additional bedrooms or even subdivision into flats. The Shell House provides a cutting edge sustainable solution to future living needs while providing a landscape aesthetic acceptable and familiar to both the young and elderly.