The Ideal Home exhibition has not always been the first place to look for cutting edge housing design in recent years. But in 2002 two ground-breaking apartments were demonstrated – the Live-in Quarters concept house and the Spaceover keyworkers prototype. Over 10,000 visitors to the exhibition registered their interest in gaining further information when construction started, thus proving the enormous demand for high quality accommodation of this kind.

Live-in Quarters (LQ) is both developer and manufacturer waiting to supply the London market. It has produced a family of concept houses for low cost accommodation designed to suit single people and key workers. It has been set up specifically to deal with the problems of London, and anticipates high rise schemes of six to 12 storeys built in galvanised lightweight steel frame. LQ propose to have their own factory located in East London. LQ customers are seen as those who wish to get on to the first rung on the property ladder, frequently key workers and single people earning less than £30,000 a year. They took a brief from Keep London Working, the result of which was the 26m2 flat exhibited at the Ideal Home Exhibition which provided total privacy and security with individual showers, WC and kitchens. They also exhibited a two-storey unit where the first floor contained an executive 33m2 studio. In addition to the normal options of mortgage purchase, shared equity and rent, they are planning to offer a new form of tenure called equity rent. In simple form, this enables residents to convert their rent into a percentage of the equity depending on the period of time they stay in the property without any risk of negative equity.

Architect: The Design Buro, Levitt Bernstein