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XCO2 Design Competition: Reinventing London's Housing for 2050 

XCO2, (an energy, environmental and sustainability consultancy) launched an exciting green thinking mini-design competition; Reinventing London’s Housing for 2050 to tackle London’s current and continuing housing crisis for the future.

Our architectural team came up with a unique and innovative submission.

The year is 2050 and the space for new housing is at an all-time low in London. Reusing the city’s existing non-domestic stock becomes imperative. XCO2 want designers to take a building typology or an actual place or structure and integrate space-efficient residential apartments within or around it, fit for future tenants.

Whether it be the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral, HMS Belfast or a local disused warehouse – no stone should be left unturned in the hunt for housing in this country’s capital.

Entrants will be judged on their originality, affordability and capability of replication and must be completely net-zero energy, that means they produce at least the same amount of energy as they consume.

The magnificent arches of Paddington and Kings Cross Stations are Studio Moren’s chosen sites for our submission ‘Reprogramming Train Stations for the 21st Century’. With the advancement of rail technology and the introduction of electric trains, up and down the country, these stations present an untapped venue where additional uses could be introduced within their voluminous spaces. The inspiration from an atomic structure provides the most efficient way to fill the semi-circular volume of the train platform roof. The use of octagon shaped nodes (accommodation pods) connected by a hybrid grid of connectors creates the blue print of this concept.

Each pod is connected at four points, of which these connectors will provide corridors, amenity spaces, MEP zones and ventilation routes. The pods can be interconnected to create large units where required. Energy from the trains pulling in and out the platforms can be harnessed by regenerative braking and with the use of flywheel technology which converts kinetic energy into electric energy to power the residential units. Light shafts through the grid network will act as solar collectors (PVs) and light shafts to channel light to the accommodation pods.

These shafts will also utilise the pressure differentials created by the train movements to act as air exchange chambers that provide ventilation to the pods. Solar tubes are foil or mirror lined so that they reflect light into an interior space. We have adopted this same idea to draw light in from one end of the station platform. A mirror tracks the sun and reflects the rays into a mirror lined tube. The tube is fitted with PV panels to produce energy while also drawing natural daylight through the long section to the residential pods.

London, United Kingdom
Concept Design 2017
Studio Moren