Lightbox House

The Lightbox House is a home with a twist: it can be customized and adapted to suit different lifestyles and budgets. You can choose to have two, three or four bedrooms and, as the household expands, so can the house, with the addition of a rooftop pod providing an extra bedroom or workspace. Above all, it’s a lovely house to live in: shaped to draw in the light with big windows at front and back, configured for easy, open-plan living, providing lots of space for living in and providing lots more for storing clutter.

The project came about when igloo Regeneration asked Ash Sakula to become one of six ‘home manufacturers’ for a pilot site in Pool, Cornwall. We teamed up with a timber frame manufacturer and a local builder and developed a product which we call the Lightbox House. 

Because Ash Sakula’s work has a strong affinity for its end-users and their experience of the places we make, it came naturally to us to work with a procurement process that more intimately involves the eventual occupant. We weren’t just designing a concept though. We knew that we had to make the customisation experience easy and interesting for purchasers, so we set up the Lightbox House website to make the process simple and accessible: 

Awards at the Royal Docks Charrette

Jury Award for Meaningful Engagement with Local Communities, Context and Identity

People's Choice Award

Aerial views of the three options for development:

Option 1 restricts itself to land already in the public ownership.

Option 2 makes strategic interventions requiring additional land assembly.

Option 3 is transformative, optimising the site's potential.

An annotated plan of development Option 3, which provides 471 new homes including 163 affordable, 800 jobs, new boat moorings, an entirely new public realm, a pedestrian bascule bridge, a water taxi service to and from Cowes and a 474 space car park surrounded by co-working uses.

We paid careful attention to colour and finish, aiming to create an ambience well attuned to the spirit of Chapter by being both reassuring and exciting.

Original Edwardian glazed tilework, previously concealed, has been exposed and supersize lettering, vintage wallpapers and elements of strong colour have been deployed to good effect.

The palette of architectural textures - brickwork, timber lathes, whitewashed stonework and two-colour tarmac - makes the space feel grounded and robust.

Quayside market colonnade with apartments over.

Aerial view of the Caravanserai identifying the components that made up its final state.

A view of the proposals from Station Road, looking north west across Vicarage Field.

Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos

Axonometric cutaway views

Read more about the thinking behind this project:

A possible configuration of the ground floor

A possible configuration of the first floor

A possible configuration of the second floor

Two roof configurations

We made a website where you can custom design your own home. Take a peek inside here.

Architect and Client: Ash Sakula Architects and Lightbox House Ltd

Three-bedroom house GIA: 90 sq m

Four-bedroom houseGIA: 116 sq m

Value: ~£220,000

Appointed: 2014