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The idea of commissioning an architect-designed home is enticing, but most average consumers don't have the funds to do so. That's why a pair of London entrepreneurs with a background in fashion and marketing want to take the idea from a luxury to an affordable and attainable option, says Oliver Wainwright for the Guardian.

The founders of Cube Haus are planning to “disrupt the housing market” in London and offer “high-design homes at reasonable prices” with a range of off-the-peg, modular designs by well-known architects. They have commissioned a roster of different designers – beginning with Adjaye Associates, Skene Catling de la Peña, Carl Turner Architects and Faye Toogood – to come up with a range of models that can be adapted to fit awkward infill sites and backland plots, with the bulk of the structure manufactured off-site in solid panels of cross-laminated timber.

The designs offer range from a dark timber-clad box by Adjaye, seemingly modeled on his 2007 Sunken House in Hackney, to a stealthy courtyard house by Turner, and a simple pitch-roofed home by Toogood intended for more rural sites. Skene Catling de la Peña, architect of the magical Flint House, named RIBA house of the year 2015, has come up with a design that revolves around a central ceramic stove that rises through the building, containing the functions of cooking, heating, circulation and structural loading in one terracotta-clad core. The ceramic theme continues on the facade, with creamy clay tiles and a decorative base designed as a contemporary take on vermiculated rustication, with textured, wormy tracks cast into the surface. It’s full of the kind of crafted detail that would be unthinkable on most off-plan new-build properties.

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