January 21, 2015

A Pocket Loft

Late last year we were asked to enter an invited ideas competition by Pocket Living, an intriguing London-based developer specialising in "compact, not micro" flats aimed at young middle-income workers, and sold at (relatively) affordable prices. We were delighted that ours was one of the five winning concepts, presented at an exhibition just before Christmas and now published in the AJ. We were particularly pleased that Peter Murray, chair of New London Architecture and one of the judges, told us he liked ours the best!

Pocket made their name with a one-bedroom apartment model that combined a compact footprint with a high quality of design, making it unusually liveable for a 'compact' flat. They are now looking to develop their next generation product - a two-bedroom flat aimed at a very varied range of possible household types - from childless couples to single parents, sharers or couples with a young child.

This was a fun opportunity to apply our ongoing investigations in the design of adaptable basic structures, to a new challenge. Inspired by the classic loft conversions of robust warehouses, we developed a simple shell-and-core model that could accommodate numerous different internal arrangements. The concept was that the 'Pocket Loft' could be sold either fully fitted out or as a shell space that the purchaser could fit-out themselves, to their individual requirements of family or lifestyle. The structural grid and the arrangement of windows and balconies on the facade create a robust and well-proportioned rhythm that would unify the building, and was designed to be compatible with the grid of the current Pocket 1-bedroom units.

We're fascinated to see where we get to go next with all this, as Pocket look to test out these new concepts on the ground on their next wave of projects...


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