Designed as simple shells for owners to customise, Naked House’s affordable homes are a stripped-back – in price as well as appearance – alternative to London’s soaring property market.
The first houses will occupy brownfield sites in Enfield, north London, and will range in price from £150k to £340k (the average London home costs £580K). They are the result of four years of research by the non-profit developer, which focuses on creating affordable homes, particularly for first-time buyers.
Naked House’s bare bones units, designed by London firm OMMX Architects, will be ready to live in but will come with no internal floors or walls. Fixtures and fittings will also be missing, saving on cost and giving future owners the chance to make their mark.
‘People will eventually spend that money over time, but our point is that they can spend it as and when they can afford it,’ explains Naked House co-founder Ian Double. ‘The challenge for our architects was designing a well-constructed shell that people can adapt over time.’
Further savings have been made by making agreements with local councils that let them retain ownership of the land, and receive monthly rent from the owner. This means price tags are dependent only on houses’ building costs.
Naked House – which showed an early version of its stripped-back approach in a collaboration with artist Julia King at the 2016 Venice Biennale – will start construction on the first set of houses in Enfield in a year’s time. These will offer space for single owners as well as families.
According to the architects the homes are a hybrid mix of farmers’ cottages and Georgian terraced townhouses, offering around 50 sq m of space across a double-height building.
‘It provides a very affordable entry level shell, which is generously proportioned and loaded with potential,’ says OMMX. ‘The hard work is done by the contractor, and provides the resident with a blank canvas to tailor into their ideal home.’
Double adds: ‘When we started people were becoming more interested in custom and self-build, and we were also interested in that, and motivated by affordable housing. There’s been a big push from Sadiq Khan in supporting new innovative housing models.’
Naked House’s affordable London homes are available to anyone earning under £90,000, and its Enfield development is already set to be over-subscribed, with hundreds of people registering their interest so far.
The project has been awarded a £500k grant from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. Naked House is now in talks with other local authorities and housing associations to secure further sites across the capital.