The innovators: hexagonal homes could give first-time buyers a hive of their own

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The innovators: hexagonal homes could give first-time buyers a hive of their own
Barry Wilkinson, the entrepreneur behind Hivehaus. // Photo © Christopher Thomond
The innovators: hexagonal homes could give first-time buyers a hive of their own
Barry Wilkinson, the entrepreneur behind Hivehaus // Photo © Christopher Thomond

Ancient Greeks originally theorised that the elegant shape of honeycomb, with its interlocking hexagons, was an example of nature’s efficiency. In the back garden of his home outside Wigan, Barry Jackson has taken similar inspiration to create an alternative form of housing.

The 52-year-old builder had been considering how to create a “man cave” on his property for his drum kit and photography equipment, when he thought of constructing a series of six-sided rooms which could be built and attached together in a honeycomb design.

The result, some three years later, is the Hivehaus, hexagonal rooms each of 100 square feet attached together to form a personalised building. It can be erected in four to five days by three builders, has no foundations, and can be used as a study, garden room, gym and possibly even transportable housing.

Describing the design as “anti-builder and anti-architect”, Jackson said the identical structures use standard off-the-shelf materials. A three-unit Hivehaus costs about £55,000, offering an alternative way to get people on to the property ladder.

“A lot of young people won’t ever have that chance that I had. They are still living with their parents in their 30s. It delays having families because people don’t feel that they belong anywhere, because they are stuck in some rental trap. []

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