Y:Cube development is an off-site manufactured housing project for single people in housing need, designed by renowned architecture practice Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and promoted by YMCA, the world’s oldest and largest youth charity.
The 36-apartment Y:Cube development is designed as move-on accommodation for people leaving homelessness hostels and supported housing schemes. The apartments are being rented out at 65 per cent of the market rate in the area.
This saving is possible due to the off-site method of construction, which in turn led to a far quicker build programme – in this case around five months. The construction methodology and speed of installation mean each unit cost significantly less than a conventionally built equivalent.
Y:Cube Housing uses a pre-constructed modular system that enables the streamlined units to stack easily on top or alongside each other, making it completely adaptable to the size and space available and therefore perfect for tight urban sites.
Each unit is constructed from high quality, eco-efficient materials (primarily renewable timber), creating accommodation that is so well insulated, that they require little or no heating, even in winter months. This presents further valuable savings as the cost of energy rises.
The Y:Cube units are 26sqm studio-like apartments, for single occupancy, that arrive on site as self-contained units. Each unit is constructed in the factory with all the services already incorporated. Therefore, the water, heating and electricity can be easily connected to existing facilities or to other Y:Cubes already on site. This ‘plug￼and play’ approach results in a modular, demountable system of apartments that are perfectly designed for brownfield sites. Additional units can be added if needed and whole developments can be taken apart and rebuilt in new locations.
Due to the design, size and construction system schemes can be developed without public grant and charge rents at or below Local Housing Allowance levels. Y:Cube Housing is not designed to provide long term accommodation and has an anticipated length of stay of three to five years. Y:Cube tenants will all have a local connection to the area. Half will be YMCA residents currently living in YMCA accommodation in South West London, and the other 50% will be nominations from Merton Council.
YMCA London South West (LSW) is a registered charity that works across the London boroughs of Merton, Kingston, Richmond, Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham, as well as Elmbridge, in Surrey. Since 1874, YMCA LSW has been providing local communities with a range of services including supported accommodation; children's work; sports, health, exercise and fitness; youth work; catering services and conference facilities; and community programmes.
Every year, YMCA LSW houses more than 600 homeless people, supporting them with a wide range of interventions including life skills training, literacy and numeracy courses as well as access to counselling services in order to equip them with the skills and confidence to lead successful independent lives once they move on from the hostel.
YMCA was founded in 1844, in England it is made up of 113 member YMCAs working to ensure that young people have opportunities to thrive and contribute positively to their communities.
YMCA operates in more than 530 different communities in England impacting upon the lives of more than 600,000 people every year.
YMCAs provides almost 10,000 beds for young people every night. YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of safe, supported accommodation for young men and women.
YMCAs in England enable nearly 43,000 people every year to engage in education, skills and training to enable them to improve their opportunities in the job market.