astudio ‘housing crisis’ abstract sculpture on display at Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition

astudio ‘housing crisis’ abstract sculpture on display at Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition

Award-winning architecture firm astudio has been invited to exhibit its model on the UK housing crisis by the Royal Academy of Arts for at its prestigious Summer Exhibition.


astudio views modern modular housing as potentially a key part of the solution to the lack of affordable housing in the UK.

The innovative and abstract sculpture creatively made from 3D printed modular units, replicates an offsite modulated and prefabricated housing system. Constructed with six types of unit, stacked in different orientations, the design stands at two metres high, incorporating the equivalent of 150 homes in a range of one-bed, two-bed and three-bed apartments.

Created over a three week period, the sculpture entitled POP.U.LATE symbolises the impact offsite manufacturing could make in tackling the UK’s housing crisis. Using design for manufacture and modern methods of assembly, modular homes can be built to high quality, more efficiently than traditional practices and they have the potential to be an important part of the solution to the issue that the UK is unable to meet the demand for 105,000 affordable houses to be built annually. The UK needs 300,000 new homes every year.

The efficiency and speed with which this unique design was made, using the latest CAD/CAM software and 3D printing, mirrors the ease and efficiency with which homes can be engineered using a modular approach. The totem-style design is symbolic of the key advantages that come with utilising existing space so that people can access property in dense, popular urban areas by building upwards.

The sculpture illustrates astudio’s propriety approach to housing, which revolves around on- site assembly. astudio produces a unique standard ‘chassis’, that gives the firm the ability to design, manufacture, supply and install volumetric offsite manufactured homes. It also allows continuous and repetitive production that reduces costs, time and defects and has environmental benefits, including low carbon and energy usage through the use of new forms of renewable energy along with heat recovery systems.


On housing in the UK
In the UK today, there are 1.7 million families (4.5 million people) waiting for the allocation of an affordable home. The UK is building less than half the number of new homes needed each year, contributing to property value and price inflation and adding another one million people to the waiting list for affordable homes annually.

astudio is committed to helping combat the critical shortage of homes through its innovative design and manufacturing process. POP.U.LATE is a representative of the possibilities manufacturing, supplying and installing volumetric offsite modular and sustainable housing can bring to cities and towns across the UK.

Richard Hyams, Co-founder and CEO of astudio, commented: “We are thrilled to exhibit our work for the second year running. We are re-defining the way affordable homes can be built and are honoured to showcase POP.U.LATE at one of the world’s most respected exhibitions.

London in particular, is one of the world’s most exciting places and in order to maintain its rich mix of cultures and people we must address and work in partnership with developers, local councils and the community to provide tangible housing solutions for the people it serves.

To be recognised by the Royal Academy is testament not only to the unwavering commitment of our dedicated team but a demonstration of the immense talent and creativity that exists at astudio beyond the strict world of architecture, to design solutions to help address some of society’s largest housing, social, and environmental issues.”

The Summer Exhibition
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition displays works in a variety of mediums and genres by emerging and established artists – and this year’s 250th anniversary edition is curated by Grayson Perry, the renowned English contemporary artist.

Jade Tilley
Jade Tilley

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