In the middle of an escalating housing crisis, can a metal box make a home? It’s a question facing the families who are being housed in converted shipping containers and metal-framed “modular homes” across the country.
On a leafy suburban street in Caversham, Reading, you could almost miss the slip road which leads down to an estate of 28 modular homes. Like the shipping container homes seen elsewhere in the country, they are boxes constructed from flat sheet steel and stacked up on each other. These units have been clad in timber.
From afar, this development looks like offices or a construction site. Steel stairways lead up to the second floor where you almost expect a foreman to appear in high vis and a hard hat.