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Rory Hyde Projects is pleased to be featured in the Wallpaper* magazine 2010 Architects Directory. As part of this, we were commissioned to design a concept townhouse that captured the ideas of the studio and addressed pressing concerns of sustainability, flexibility and affordability. The result is called Many Happy Returns, a model for a house as public building.

Project description:
The impending climate crisis has made environmental sustainability an essential demand of architecture. But we are now also facing a financial crisis, a crisis of social cohesion and a crisis of urban density. Could architecture also be used to address these other crises facing us today?

Many Happy Returns seeks to flip the concept of the house from being a drain on resources to a generator of social, economic and environmental value by introducing new uses and spaces into the standard envelope of the terrace house.
A community garden and public staircase for film screenings or meetings forms a social hub on the ground floor, generating natural customers for a small business in the adjacent private workspace. A self-contained apartment on the first floor can be leased out to supplement income, or incorporated as part of the main house. The upper floors accommodate a compact residence that presses out to the street with full-height windows.

By integrating a compact mix of public spaces, work spaces and residential spaces, Many Happy Returns acts as more than a private hideaway, but instead gives back to the whole neighbourhood. Every street should have one.

Thanks to Ellie Stathaki and Jonathan Bell.