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Beyond The Huf House Company

Part 2 Dissertation 2006
Simon Kay-Jones
Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool | UK
There is it seems an over burgeoning requirement for new housing within the UK with fears that the rates of construction are being outstripped by demand. One means of increasing production, improving quality assurance and securing skilled labour is a move to Off Site Manufacture (OSM).
By taking the ‘Managerial and Marketing’, ‘Technological and Productive’, ‘Functional and Artistic’ frameworks that German OSM House builders (specifically the Huf House Company) engender, By questioning the legitimacy of the existing planning frameworks, and examining contemporary house designs, the agenda of health, ethics and ecology will be tested.
This testing, through establishing ‘The spheres of influence’ that we possess and that buildings provision for, position the House as a protector and producer of wealth and may be broken down into its Elemental parts, Material, personal, Social, Environmental and Intellectual wealth.
The Specific purpose of the dissertation being firstly, to establish a workable set of criteria that defines the nature of dwelling to which modern housing designs maybe assessed, secondly to assess a contemporary housing approach that may offer alternative and novel approaches. And finally to go beyond the Huf Haus’s designs, production and marketing to postulate its appropriateness to the English context and impact upon architectural theory, its influence upon the common place of man and its organising capacity upon the individual within the lattice of a wider social unit.
What in conclusion is the ideal unit of consumption of a house? What is the ideal unit of production of a building? And what is the ideal unit of signification for a dwelling that optimises the impact of humans, and protects the wealth of buildings?
The question then is, is housing either an Art or a Service? Huf tends towards the philosophy that artistic disciplines can be a form of service to the communal good of a society i.e. art that serves, and design that is a form of artistic representation. With the Ideal units of Production, Signification and Consumption Huf has endeavoured to provide a group of tools for the facilitation of the client from a ignorant consumer to the Ethical purchaser.

Simon Kay-Jones

The ‘Homes for the Future’ initiative brings into focus the need for manufacturing industry to become closely involved in the delivery of the historically significant amounts of new housing needed in the UK. Such a tendency brings with it the threat to the design quality of the housing, the exigencies of easy manufacture used to stifle design. This dissertation uses one example of house procurement where design and manufacture are at one. Most significantly, the author takes the reader into areas of thought and design that will be crucial as the era of the ‘weather makers’ unfolds.

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