Client: Shiva Ltd
Status: Competition (2018)
Location: London, United Kingdom
Climate: Oceanic / maritime, Temperate
Budget: 20.000 €
Scale: 40 ㎡ Extrasmall
Ratio: 500,00 €/㎡
Types: Cabin, Microarchitecture
The high rents are pushing people to look for more tiny and affordable places to live. Living rooms are often sacrificed and turned into illegal moneymaking bedrooms. Narrow boats are an alternative for cheap rent but come with disadvantages and lack of space. Resident along the canals are complaining that the growing numbers of boaters are using the local services without paying extra taxes nor providing new ones for the neighbourhoods…
Condemning the lack of communal space in city housing, Poly Box challenges the meaning of what a ‘living’ room can be by converting and maximising its potential as an activated and open space to engage boaters and the wider community. Taking the meandering lifestyles and dynamics of canal sailors as a starting point, Poly Box is an operational platform that facilitates shared experiences and resources. Fitted with amenities that create a welcoming platform, it serves as an inclusive and collective place where individuals can meet, exchange, learn and explore ways of life on water.
Unlike typical modest and introverted boat houses, the structure is made up of transparent and more disclosed elements. This includes an alternative approach to concealed cabins where the frontage is unobstructed, including opening doors, rotating walls and a flat roof that folds unchaining the space from its fixed form. Rollers and hinged mechanisms reveal the interior space to reconnect it with the outside, underlining its public character. The volume recomposes itself to create different spatial conditions that optimise light and privacy depending on it uses by allowing for multiple configurations and scenarios to take place.
In a city where living rooms are constantly being turned into private “bedrooms” the PolyBox provides a room for Living and Sharing, a place for interaction and knowledge, a floating living room where the boaters and the local communities can finally sit with each other and enjoy a common living.