Houses on the shelf
design- Ryszard Rychlicki
location- London Bridge, London, United Kingdom
3rd prize- London Bridge 800 (The Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects, RIBA- London 2009)
If we treat a house as a product with a programmed product life, which after the expiry of the guarantee period we may simply throw away. Such behaviour from the point of view accepted in the philosophy of our civilisation would be entirely rational. After all we live in a utilitarian cult. Whatever we do is based on using and then throwing away. Why should it not apply to a house? Utility is an element of the contemporary consumer lifestyle, for which a house is just as much a product as a car. New, attractive and comfortable immediately after purchase, with time worn, faulty and it ends up on the rubbish dump.
Indeed it is the contrast between the contemporary lifestyle and that of the previous eight hundred years, which decided the architectural form that I have suggested for the bridge (London Bridge). The open work construction fulfils the function of shelves for houses as products, which after being used up (wearing out) are replaced with new ones. Mobile houses (shop,office) in the form of boxes – are executed from recycled materials. Due to the mobility of the entire layout premise the city may decide on its structure – number and type of homes in a given time.