Norman Foster Foundation and Holcim unveil Essential Homes new prototype
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Essential Homes: the new prototype on display in London

Drawings and models of the row house, an evolution of the first shelter presented at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, will be on show at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition through August 18

Norman Foster Foundation

Norman Foster Foundation and Holcim unveil Essential Homes new prototype
By Editorial Staff -
Holcim has participated in the project

The idea behind the Essential Homes Research Project is to create sustainable homes that are accessible to all. Developed by the Norman Foster Foundation and Holcim, an international firm involved in green building solutions, the research project centers on creating eco-friendly emergency shelters for displaced families and refugees.

Since the first full-scale prototype was presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2023, further research has gone into developing a multiple version of the shelter comprising a series of modules arranged side by side. Drawings and models of the row house version of the shelter are on display at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London through August 18.

To achieve circularity, Essential Homes are built using local materials with low environmental impact and will be fully recyclable. These safe, comfortable housing solutions have low carbon emissions and can be built quickly at an extremely low cost. Construction of the first units is scheduled for 2025 in Latin America.

Essential Homes new prototype © Norman Foster Foundation
 

“This project grew out of a workshop organised by the Norman Foster Foundation for young graduates devoted to the issues of refugee housing. Realising that a family can spend up to nearly two decades living in a tent, the scholars posed a challenge – could a more durable, permanent and dignified home be built in a few days, that would be economically viable and sustainable? The Foundations project team, with the support of Holcim, met this challenge with a prototype home unveiled at the 2023 Venice Biennale. This has now evolved into a row house version, offering higher standards for ultra low-cost housing - shown for the first time at this Royal Academy Summer Show”.

Norman Foster, President, Norman Foster Foundation

 

>>> Discover also Paper Log House, the temporary housing built with wood and cardboard designed by Shigeru Ban

All images courtesy of Norman Foster Foundation

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