Imagine a city where entire neighborhoods could be constructed in a matter of days, rather than years. This happened in Oxley Woods, a development designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners near the town of Milton Keynes, England, that opened in 2007. The development consists of 145 units of varying sizes, and a single house took only three days to build.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners are now exhibiting what they are calling an "evolution" of the Oxley Woods pre-fab system at a pop-up installation at the Royal Academy of Arts in London through Sept. 8, as part of the academy's exhibition, "Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out," on the firm's founder, which runs through Oct. 13.
The courtyard installation, called Homeshell, is a 3.5 story building constructed from a bunch of flat panels that were trucked in to the site. The Insulshell building system was developed by Sheffield Insulations Group (SIG) and Coxbench, and consists of pre-built timber interlocking panels. It took only 24 hours of work to build a mock apartment building in the middle of what was once just a courtyard. According to the firm's website, "A simple Homeshell design such as the prototype before you can be assembled and made watertight in 24 hours, while a six-storey, 24-unit block could be up and running in a month."