At Ash Sakula, we are curious about finding new ways of making housing more sustainable, more affordable and more closely attuned to people’s needs and aspirations.
One of our earliest housing projects was four prototype shared-ownership homes for Peabody housing association, in which we reversed the conventional priorities for the organisation of space in a small apartment. For example, we made the kitchen large enough to eat and socialise in, while the living room became a fairly small snug for reading, listening to music or watching television. Bedrooms were small but clothes storage was located in the super-sized hall, which also housed the laundry area. Bathroom and WC were large but separate and each had a proper window. We suggested that these changes were an accurate reflection of occupiers’ real needs and ways of life. Peabody agreed and so did the Brewer family, who wrote: ‘Thank you for our incredible home. We have never seen anything so thoughtfully designed for us as a family.’ The Guardian called it ‘The most imaginative and thoughtfully planned low-cost housing in London.’
More recently we built a terrace of zero-carbon low-energy social-rented homes for Radian Housing Association. As well as being sustainable at a technical level of energy use and insulation, they are similarly easy to live in and contain embedded cues that encourage and enable occupiers to choose low-carbon lifestyles.
With our Lightbox House project, we were experimenting with an alternative model of build and procurement. We became home manufacturers by developing a terrace typology as a custom-build product which can be taken anywhere. The house is happiest when built in rows of three, four or five houses. Inspired by the traditional Victorian terrace, this house is socially and technologically smart and can be customised to meet user needs. It can be built economically and affordably, making this a route into custom home-building that is not just for the well-off.
These projects are pushing the boundaries of what is possible and viable, discovering elegant and profitable ways to meet changing needs.
26 new homes for the Clapton Park Estate in Hackney, east London
Bringing an aloof town hall to life as a place for people
Creating a convivial neighbourhood of streets and houses on a riverside site in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
A radical reappraisal of spatial priorities in a minimum-sized apartment.
Pushing for new elegant and groundbreaking ways to meet changing housing needs.
Creating a valuable resource for people who want to build a community of homes.