The Dagenham Breach Housing Co-operative
The DBHC is a community-driven, future- conscious housing system conceived out of an oddball romance between the English vernacular and historic Japanese architecture. The proposal looks to reinterpret the long-standing, basic principles of the typical London terrace, by adapting commonplace materials and structural systems to better support a flexible building typology.
Acting as a counterpoint to the revolutionary Becontree Estate which housed more than 100,000 people in the interwar period, the system is adaptable and is designed to jostle into the city’s residual sites: a series of poriferous, tree-house-like structures collecting around an interlinking patchwork of shared gardens. The whole system can be manipulated through a digitally accessed kit-of-parts which aims to create a highly customisable communal-BIM model, that can flex and adapt to the whims of each individuals taste and budget.
This mad-cap mock-tudor-cum-metabolist architecture is a kind of ‘baggy’, or ‘open’ system that has no fixed point of completion; it is both a subversive act of defiance against volume housebuilders and an optimistic gesture of relentless invention that, if you were willing to take a leap of faith… might just actually work.