Homeshell, Burlington House Residential Building, Royal Academy of Arts, London Architecture

Homeshell House, London

Three Storey Residential Building – design by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners

13 Aug 2013

Burlington House Courtyard Development

Design: Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners

Location: Burlington House, London, England

The Royal Academy of Arts unveils a three storey house designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners in the Courtyard at Burlington House

Richard Rogers:
British architect Richard Rogers
© Andrew Zuckerman

As part of the Royal Academy’s current exhibition Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out, a three and a half storey building called Homeshell has been erected in the Courtyard in front of Burlington House. The Homeshell is free to visit and will be open to the public from Tuesday 13 August – Sunday 8 September. Visitors will be able to go inside the house and view a time lapse film of the installation’s construction and see how the unique building system fits together.

Burlington House – The Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts Building
photo © Adrian Welch

For over fifty years, Richard Rogers has advocated the social objectives of architecture through innovative design and materials. In order to address the increasing housing problem in the UK, his practice Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners (RSHP) has designed the Homeshell, a low-cost house that uses the pioneering technology first developed for their Oxley Woods housing scheme in Milton Keynes.

Centre Pompidou Colour-Coded External Services:
Centre Pompidou
© David Noble

The Homeshell installation is constructed using a flexible, quick and highly energy efficient building system called Insulshell (developed by Sheffield Insulated Group and Cox Bench). Arriving as flat-pack panels, the Homeshell can be constructed on site in twenty-four hours.

National Assembly for Wales:
National Assembly for Wales
© Katsuhisa Kida – FOTOTECA

The Insulshell system can be adapted to suit traditionally difficult locations, particularly highly urban or small sites. This will enable more urban brownfield sites (previously built on land) to create more homes and utilise existing transport and infrastructure links, instead of encroaching on the green belt. There is an estimated 63,750 hectares of brownfield in England, of which 51% is derelict or vacant. Other buildings to have used this technology include the Velodrome at the London 2012 Olympics.

Terminal 4, Barajas Airport, Madrid:
Barajas Airport Madrid
© Manuel Renau

Ivan Harbour, Senior Partner at RSHP says, “The Homeshell delivers generous space, exceptional insulation, daylight and acoustics. We believe it holds many answers for well-designed and sustainable urban living and could change the way we think about our housing into the future. There is an urgent need for more housing in the UK and this system allows us to meet this need far faster than traditional methods. Having it at the Royal Academy of Arts will provoke debate about how architectural innovation might help us meet the UK’s housing needs – for everyone.”

Lloyds of London, Atrium:
Lloyds of London Atrium
© Janet Gill

After being exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Homeshell will be dismantled and rebuilt on a site in Mitcham, where it will be fitted out as the show house for prospective tenants for the YMCA Southwest Y:Cube Housing project, designed by RSHP.

London As It Could Be:
London Riverfront
© Richard Rogers Partnership

Open to the public: Thursday 18 July – Sunday 13 October 2013 10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm)
Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm)

£8 full price; concessions available; children under 12 free; Friends of the RA go free.

Tickets for Richard Rogers RA: Inside Out are available daily at the RA or by visiting Group bookings: Groups of 10+ are asked to book in advance. Telephone 020 7300 8027 or email: groupbookings(at)

Zip-Up House:
Zip-Up House
© Richard and Su Rogers

Homeshell information from The Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy London

Rogers Stirk Harbour Partners

The Royal Academy of Arts London

Royal Academy of Arts Royal Academicians 2019

Location: 31 Burlington Gardens, London, England, UK

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