Imperial Headquarters M19…

Houses of the Future on our 22nd Century Burnage Street

A cyclist overtakes a group on horseback, passing the green roofed cottages, wind turbine powered houses, the grand arches, multi coloured bricks and architectural wonders gracing Burnage in the 2120’s. This was the scene created when we invited local children to join us to design and build their “House of the Future” in the February half term, asking them to imagine: “Who will be living there? What rooms will they need? How will your house be powered?

100 years ago Manchester Corporation houses on the Burnage and Kingsway Estates were designed as modern, light filled, labour saving homes powered by electricity and gas. New residents to Burnage in the 1920s left behind some of the areas blighted by overcrowded and insanitary housing, with outside toilets, open fires and gas lighting.

As part of our heritage Lottery supported ‘Burnage: A Place Called Home’ project we wanted to get young people thinking about the kind of houses we will need for the next 100 years. As the builders got down to their task, a hush fell over the room, with only the sound of lego bricks being raked through by both children and adults searching for that special piece to top off their design.

There were lots of ingenious ways of powering the houses, along with gardens and greenery, water engineered canals, and lots of colour everywhere. Bike, canoe and horsepower were the preferred method of travel as well as a Helipad at the ready for a quick getaway from a stylish split level Bat Cave. On a less optimistic note, a police station was one of the first buildings to make its appearance, complete with rooftop snipers, so the vision of the future wasn’t quite as utopian as at first sight.

It was great to see such thoughtful and varied designs, and listen to the builders describing the features they’d incorporated into the place they would like to call Home.