Lord Rogers vs IKEA in the Battle of the British Prefabs


Lord (Richard) Rogers is building 145 orange, mauve and pink "flexi-houses" that can be adapted to changing tastes and space requirements, with developer Wimpey in Milton Keynes. Buyers will be able to choose different wall finishes, change the interior layout as their family grows and clip on more rooms using a prefabricated system. Says the program director: "You can begin as a couple with an open-plan ground floor and kitchen and a huge open-plan bedroom covering the first floor. When children come along you can subdivide rooms to create bedrooms and then, when they leave home, you can open it all up again." Others are concerned. "People don't like odd shapes and strange colours," said Robert Adam, a classical architect favoured by the Prince of Wales. "If you build something in silly colours you can bet people won't buy it. The [IKEA] BoKlok houses look really very horrid." ::Times Online

Eco hats
Mr Rogers is perhaps best known for his inside-out Lloyds building where all the services were placed on the outside. In these Oxley Park homes the firm has made a feature of the services again, in the form of a glass lantern called an eco hat, through which all the soil and vent pipes pass. The feature allows light to penetrate into the centre of the home, to maximise the heat available from the sun.:;Guardian