Despite global cities such as New York, Amsterdam and London being crazy popular places to live in these days, they are also characterized by a lot of vacancy. Landlords keep their buildings empty, patiently waiting for them to be turned in luxury condos. At the same time, lack of housing remains at its peak.
The Shed Project is an initiative by Lowe Guardians that uses the abundance of vacant buildings in London as a means to experiment with temporary housing. Teaming up with Studio Bark, they create Sheds that pop up in these vacant buildings and convert them into inhabited residences, offering clean, safe and cheap housing. The concept taps into the concept of property guardianship, that started in the Netherlands and Germany and became big in the UK from the early 2000s.
You can build your own Shed within a day and it offers a flexible, sustainable housing solution. It minimizes waste because it can be dismantled and rebuilt in a different site very easily. All materials that are used for the Shed are sustainable, local and long-lasting. This makes The Shed Project a thing that can be used for the long term.
The first versions of the Shed are suitable for one person only, and do not have their own kitchen or bathroom. These are shared amenities that are also found in the vacant spaces. New prototypes will contain their own kitchen and shower as well. Because of its relatively small living space, the Shed also offers a affordable form of housing: rents range from £250 to £650, which is up to 50% below London’s market prices.
As Lowe, owner of Lowe Guardians, stresses: the Shed is not the solution. However, it is designed to help decrease the huge lack of housing that London faces and caters the needs of those who look for safe, comfortable and affordable housing.