Group 26

Building upon ownHaus real estate model and their affordable resilient living manifesto, our group is committed to work together towards an intersectional design concept to benefit future living communities. This live project will study the ownHaus token funding model to enable disintermediation of the existing real estate system and to create a more affordable co-living prototype. In the view of evolving content when developing the ownHaus design concept, we are aiming to visually express the emerging work through infographics, diagrams, collages, which can later be of use to our collaborators as well.

Download Final Report

Zhe Han L / Maria Gorreth TD / Aadil N / Irina M / Adwoa Samantha-Jo Georgina B / Henry M

ownHaus is a global digitised real estate community providing co-owned co-financed collective living funded through the ownHaus token.
Enabled using blockchain technology and an immutable foundation structure, they aim to provide affordable, liquid, self-organised housing in a system where the interests of users and investors are fully aligned.

Founder Steven Lock is an award-winning Director/Producer & Creative Consultant. He founded ownHaus with partners after critically studying the current housing system, and assessing a blockchain based alternative which doesn't isolate the social side of housing from the funding.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:27
Project 3 Architects

Project 3 Architects are an RIBA Chartered practice based in Altringham, they create design centric, bespoke contemporary architecture and work on projects ranging from housing to education.

Lisa Kinch – Senior Architect at Project 3 Architects / Part Time Associate Lecturer at MSA
Lisa previously headed up Farrells’ Manchester office and is now a senior architect at Project3. Her practice expertise is in small and large scale masterplanning, residential developments and film studios.
Lisa is additionally a part time associate lecturer on the MArch Course within the InfraSpace atelier at the Manchester School of architecture.

Rob Evans – Director & Architect at Project 3 Architects
Rob studied architecture at Birmingham School of Architecture, gaining a professional qualification in 1990. Following an early career in the Midlands, Rob worked in London for 7 years, first with CZWG and later with Jestico & Whiles. Rob moved to Manchester in 1995 becoming an Associate with Hodder and Partners and in 1998 moved to Stephenson Bell Architects as Associate Director before founding Project 3 Architects in 2012.
Rob has tutored at a number of the north west’s schools of architecture
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:37
ownHaus Skills

In the view of evolving ideas together, we aim to grow our knowledge along with our group peers. The emerging ownHaus concept will evolve from a wide range of competencies and will help you acquire collaborative, technical and personal development skills such as:

Design Expression

Developing a design concept involves good technical competencies and within our group you will take your 2D & 3D modelling skills to the next level. You will employ a range of technical software in finding architectural solutions with the help of models and drawings, acquiring knowledge and confidence using AutoCAD and Sketchup.

Researching and Critical Thinking

Carrying out group work will enable your awareness within the real-estate industry and develop your analysing, conceptualising and synthesizing skills. Undertaking project studies will enrich your research management and deepen your understanding of the multidisciplinary subjects you will get involved with, expanding both your personal and professional development.

Presentation and Communication

Our project will evolve your graphic skills with regards to collaging, presenting and creating infographics in communicating your ideas efficiently. Graphic communication programs such as Adobe Creative Suite help you express your vision and contribute towards achieving your creative potential. Co-operation is also key, therefore you will most likely become more receptive to feedback and work more proactively within a group.


Whilst working in this team, we aim to boost your creativity levels through informal talks and sharing culture. Through sharing new-found knowledge and skills with colleagues, we aim to create an open environment to help you generate new ideas. Peer-to-peer feedback is key as it will bring new perspectives to yet another inspiring mind.

Posted 1 Mar 2021 20:33
Name : Aadil Nagdawala
Atelier : InfraSpace
Work experience : ADP Architects
Undergrad : MSA

Hi, this is Aadil. I joined atelier Infra.Space after my Part 1 placement because I like mid-to-large scale projects that consider their impact from immediate context to nationwide effects.

The blockchain aspect of this live project is what interested me- exploiting the potential of a new technology to impact one of our most traditional institutions - housing.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 20:35
Name : Adwoa Botchey
Atelier : Advanced Practice
Work Experience : AEW Architects
Undergrad : MSA

Hi, this is Adwoa! My main interests are in exploring sustainable and inclusive architecture. With a background in art and design I would like to help others explore a more artistic approach to architectural thinking.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 20:36
Name : Daryl Law
Atelier : Continuity in Architecture
Work Experience : Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios ; Ong & Ong 360 Consultancy Sdn Bhd
Undergrad : University of Edinburgh

Hi! this is Daryl. I’ve joined ownHaus because it suits my interest in architecture and technology that bring people together. I’ve developed this interest through higher education, adaptive reuse and volunteering projects. ownHaus allows me to further pursue this interest, in collaboration with developers and architects who are working to make this blockchain-powered housing model a reality in Manchester and the UK.

Joining ownHaus will be a great opportunity for you to sharpen your skills in visually communicating ideas and collaborative working. As we help you grow your skills and creativity, we'll develop housing concepts that overcome spatial and financial limitations of conventional housing models.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 20:37
Name : Henry Mole
Atelier : InfraSpace
Work Experience : Wincer Kievenaar Architects Ltd. (2 Years Out)
Undergrad : University of Lincoln

Henry’s main interests within the architectural discipline are Social Housing, Brutalism and the Architecture of the Early Soviet Union.

His experience during his year out was in the redevelopment of listed buildings and the preservation of architectural elements within.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 20:38
Name : Irina Munteanu
Atelier : Praxxis
Work Experience : DAY Architectural
Undergrad : MSA

Allowing freedom of thought in creative arts field has enabled a mediator thinking in the way I view design. I am an excited individual towards architecture that fosters dialogue and stimulates dynamic interaction.

If you’re eager to investigate topics on affordable housing and creating age-friendly communities, we will get along just great.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 20:38
Name : Maria Tavares Duarte
Atelier : Advanced Practice
Work Experience : Andrew Wallace Architects & Interior Designers
Undergrad : Anglia Ruskin University

Passions : Sustainable architecture and spaces that can strengthen communities.
Experience : Redevelopment of low-rise residential buildings and Villa's proposal
Skills: Visual arts background / Photoshop and Sketchup
Posted 1 Mar 2021 20:39
Social Values:
Co-owned co-financed collective living flexible & sustainable accommodation owned by the community for eternity!

Our project will address the issues of post-covid living, offering a paradigm shift in how we realise city centre living. It's not about density - it's about community!

Create a more affordable, equitable and resilient property structure.
Digital equity through blockchain.

Great combined houses and highly flexible collective living. Enables people to live, work and play in flexible, multi-generational, evolving spaces; emphasises interaction, health, wellness.

It's about the comforts; your stuff; your stories; the connections you make and the memories you create together. every meal, every party, every celebration; every holiday, and every simple Sunday
afternoon leaves its impression, making your home a repository for every experience of a life well-lived.
Posted 13 Mar 2021 20:51
What a great way to start MSA LIVE 21! We have a fabulous presentation lined up on Monday 10th May from OwnHaus founder Steve Lock! We are super excited to see you all there and learn more about this amazing system that is the foundation of our project.
Posted 7 May 2021 21:04
Getting ready...
Week 1:

We’ll start the first week with learning about the potentials for housing design with ownHaus system from Steven Lock, the founder. At the start of the live project we will also discuss with you methods for remote collaborative drawing based on your skills and preferences.

Brian Tyrell will guide us on the funding model of ownHaus based on blockchain, followed by It’s a day for learning about alot of new and existing knowledge on housing.

We will break into smaller groups to take on one of these tasks:
1) Through drawing social housing precedents, we will learn about different aspects that make them successful - you may draw or diagramize its layout, its users, its facilities, the activities it accommodates, amongst others.

2) We will look at a potential site for ownHaus housing in Manchester, and study through drawing its surrounding amenities, its history, and the opportunities it presents. We hope it to be a good start to apply your drawings skills!

Thursday’s the time to share with each other our drawings and findings from Wednesday. They could be a jumping board to develop alternative ideas for our ownHaus housing design.

The people are just as important as the buildings. The best tool of an architect is empathy - think of people from different genders, ages, careers, etc that we can help to live together in harmony!
Posted 9 May 2021 13:23
DAY 1 // Introduction to ownHaus

We kicked off our MSA Live project today with group introductions and icebreaker activities to get to know each other.

This was followed up by an introduction to the ownHaus concept with founder Steven Lock. Steven introduced the Undergraduate students to the communal living concept that forms the backbone of the ownHaus methodology.

Finally, the day was rounded off with collective brainstorming and a discussion surrounding initial ideas, putting the group in a great position to start designing later this week!
Posted 10 May 2021 16:57

Following whole team discussions, which sparked many themes and ideas, we have split into smaller groups to 'visually' digest the ownHaus concept and the implications behind sustaining it. One group has dived into exploring the prerequisite for a circular economy and how we can think of creating a holistic network. We have started to draft out through infographics the concept that on-site co-production brings value to the community and secures financial resilience. By designing to accommodate potential nurseries, pet cafes/kindergarten, community allotments, we allow non-ownHaus residents to use the facilities and make connections by opening up this system. We have also pondered on the idea to have different types of rent lets, in which shorter ones could be used by people who wish to use their ownHaus unit by sharing it with others through community participation: e.g. yoga, art exhibitions, etc...
Posted 11 May 2021 17:14

We split our team into smaller groups. One focused on the ownHaus community value and how we can think of creating an inclusive community with members of multiple social categories.

Our community values for this project:
1. Respect for Diversity
2. Equality and Equity
3. Inclusivity
4. Community-led development
Posted 11 May 2021 19:31
Posted 11 May 2021 19:39
Today our team had a talk from Brian Tyrell on ownHaus Token (cryptocurrency). It was a very productive session that enabled the students to understand the ownHaus’ funding model based on blockchain.
Posted 11 May 2021 19:39

We discussed the issues in existing real estate models that could be resolved by ownHaus.

As a “crowfunded” housing model, ownHaus removes the burden on homeowners to pay interests on top of their loan repayments to banks or mortgage providers.

This disintermediation also removes the burden to abide by the rules of traditional financial institutions, to have to repay the cost of a property within the lifetime of one homeowner. Housing can be affordable when its cost can be financed over the lifetime of the building instead, and charges one only what they need, as they use it.

More sustainable, energy-efficient design can further relieve the financial burden on low-income residents, to cover expenses for instance in energy bills and furniture, which has been a long-exisiting problem in some existing social housing buildings.

ownHaus opens up the possibility to incorporate more revenue-generating amenities that can be shared with the city, and to gain revenue through its digital real estate investment tokens, thereby providing a stable share of affordable accommodation for singles, families, students, workers, creatives and pensioners.
Posted 11 May 2021 19:42


As we discussed the benefits the ownHaus system could provide for social housing, it became clear that our proposal would need to relate to its surrounding facilities.

The site is well connected with multiple transport links closeby, and is quite lively, with bars, clubs and restaurants close by.

We also studied the greenspaces in the area and found the even substantial spaces were 10 mintes away.

We therefore concluded that the context is well suited for young people, so the site should focus on making older people feel welcome.
Posted 12 May 2021 13:42


To get the most out of the site, we needed to take a closer look and study the aspects we can exploit in order to provide the best livable social housing.

We found the range of buildings in the immediate context would greatly impact sunlight on the ground, especially in winter. We also found the immediate context is loud and can be oppressive.

We studied the views from and of the site from the surrounding buildings, and wanted to explore how create a beacon of social housing in the context of oppressive city centre apartment blocks.

We concluded that much work will be needed to make a quite and peaceful space of communal living, but the nature of site can allow for this to be accomplished, by connecting well to the water and creating airy communal spaces with plenty of sunlight.
Posted 12 May 2021 13:48

ownHAUS design principles rely on sheltering each member of our community, regardless of payslip, age or identity. Our group has started to draft ideas of an intergenerational - intersectional community that will generate ownHAUS living configurations based on their needs.
Posted 13 May 2021 17:20

Our group has done a schematic exercise aiming to configure a porous programme for the community to result from healthy growth instead of a division of land. The residential offer for our ownHAUS intersectional users will be mixed on-site, ranging from students sharing a cooker and a cup of tea with older members of our society to extended family modules.
Posted 13 May 2021 17:21

It’s been an amazing first week with our ownHaus team! After understanding the creative and financial aspects of the ownHaus housing model, the students have begun to test their design ideas on a carpark site tucked away behind Circle Square and the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel. The students turned the constraints presented to them into opportunities to introduce their design moves.

The “base” of the housing project houses facilities that can be shared with the city. A horseshoe plan creates a distance with the adjacent railway, at the same time defining a series of courtyards. Facilities placed on the north edge afford a higher level of privacy and connection to River Medlock

A modular design method based on 6x6m grids enables fast assembly of pre-fabricated parts, customized to suit any chosen site in a city.

By integrating with its surroundings, for instance defining one of the entrances as a semi pedestrianized street for the bars and music venues, the project has potential to create a new vibrant neighbourhood in the city centre.
Posted 16 May 2021 21:56
ownHaus Week 2

On the second week, we’ll continue to develop the overall architectural volume of our ownHaus project. Using a range of design tools, we could develop a number of aspects such as living spaces, shared communal spaces, outdoors and nature, and so on.

We’re excited to welcome our collaborators, Lisa and Rob from Project3, to share their experience in designing social housing projects! Following that, we’ll exchange our ideas in a workshop session.

After we’ve developed the massing of our project, here’s the chance to design in more detail the living spaces in modules.

We’ll check our progress and work towards finalizing our ownHaus proposals, making sure our diagrams, drawings and models convey our ideas and interests clearly.

Get ready to collate our images into competition-style boards! This format is great for a range of presentations - for exhibitions, competitions, portfolios, etc.

To conclude our short but exciting Live Project, we’ll set up a virtual exhibition/presentation with our collaborators. Time for you to take the lead and share your ideas!
Posted 16 May 2021 22:38

As we commence week 2 of MSALive, we began developing the massing of our proposal.

As we will be using standard 6mx6mx4m modules, the site was divided into a grid and we generated a form based on site parameters such as sunlight, views and noise.

The diagrams above showcase the currently proposed Residential spaces, as well as the buffer zone used for acoustic insulation.
Posted 17 May 2021 19:07

The following diagrams highlight proposed amenities, which aim to create a dynamic, public facing programme for the community to enjoy. Additionally, these services will provide jobs and income for the ownHaus community.

We also highlight proposed greenspaces, utilising the seclusion of the site to create spaces for all to enjoy. These shared spaces encourage interaction and outdoor activities, benefiting all ownHaus residents, regardless of age, physical ability, income etc.
Posted 17 May 2021 19:12

Today we had a great opportunity to listen to a presentation given by Rob Evans and Lisa Kinch from Project 3 Architects on their concept and ideas for ownHaus. It was very insightful and awesome to see some similarities with the massing that was produced yesterday.

The group also presented their ideas to Rob, Lisa and Steve who gave some valuable advice on how to move on further and finalise the concept.
Posted 18 May 2021 17:11

We are thrilled to see our BA students giving their creative input after exploring ownHaus' blockchain-based crowdfunding system and working through the preparatory stage of our proposal. Working with hand drawings allowed us to convey our ideas swiftly and clearly. We then established a set of design principles through discussing the strengths and similarities of their individual sketches.
Posted 19 May 2021 11:42

Another fantastic sketching session with our BA students! Following our presentation to our collaborators, we got together to further develop our ownHaus proposal based on the feedback we received. We explored ways to better respond to the shape and surroundings of our chosen site whilst preserving the modularity of our initial design. Our ownHaus team again rose to the challenge of synthesizing their ideas while working together remotely. Well done!
Posted 19 May 2021 11:48

We were excited to gain new ideas and suggestions from our collaborators, Steve from ownHaus and Rob+Lisa from Project3 Architects. After our presentation, we improved our ownHaus proposal to better respond to our chosen site, while maintaining a modular design method so that our modular prototypes can be later tailored to different locations.

The three main wings now follow the curve of River Medlock. They are connected by large terraces that can hold communal amenities and potted plants that act as an acoustic buffer to the adjacent railway. The overall mass steps down towards the south to admit more daylight to the ground-level open space. A new pond strengthens the concept of a new urban oasis in Manchester - we're excited to see how it will be developed further!
Posted 19 May 2021 22:22
DAY 9 // ownHaus massing

The overall mass follows the curve of River Medlock. The four main wings of the building are arranged around a pond in the central courtyard. Each level is connected by large terraces that can accommodate communal amenities.
Posted 20 May 2021 16:03
DAY 9 // ownHaus units

The diagram highlights the proposed public amenities on the ground and first floors, such as restaurants, study/learning rooms, gym and restaurant, which aim to create a dynamic space for the ownHaus residents and the surrounding community to enjoy.

The diagram also shows the proposed initial units from the second floor upwards for different user groups, which can be increased or decreased based on their needs. Each residential level also has greenspaces shared spaces that encourage interaction and outdoor activities for all the ownHaus residents.
Posted 20 May 2021 16:06
DAY 9 // ownHaus modules

We have created a range of modules that would be able to fit together into units in any configuration and ultimately turn into a great combined house. The modules are central to the design approach as it provides an endless number of spaces so that ownHaus can be applied to any site, in any country.

There are a vast number of modules that provide privacy and some that encourage community connectivity. Ranging from kitchens to living areas, gyms to nurseries, ownHaus modules can be tailored for any situation depending on the users. This modular approach was based on the need for flexibility within the design as well as a focus on connecting spaces and activities.
Posted 21 May 2021 12:09

On our last day, we presented our infographic interpretation of ownHaus' financial mechanism and creative aims, which we developed as the Live Project was underway.

The ownHAUS founding model: As a crowfunded housing model, ownHaus removes the burden on homeowners to pay interests on top of their loan repayments to banks or mortgage providers. This disintermediation also removes the commitment to abide by traditional financial institutions’ rules to repay the cost of a property within the lifetime of one homeowner. Housing can be affordable when its price is financed over the lifetime of the building instead, and charges one only what they need, as they use it. Value is transferred from the real estate to the blockchain tokens issued to backers. The tokens increase in value from being traded on the market and from the growth of the ownHaus brand; residents can eventually redeem their investments through bonuses. Furthermore, revenue generated can be used to subsidize living costs for essential workers, young adults, and vulnerable groups.
Posted 21 May 2021 12:36

Excerpt from today’s presentation with our ownHaus collaborators:

This infographic diagram visually represents our user-focused programme's development and the ownHaus modular response to their needs. ownHAUS design principles rely on sheltering each member of our community, regardless of payslip, age or identity. Our group has drafted modules ideas by splitting its users into two categories: multiple and single occupants. This intersectional community’s programme generates ownHAUS living configurations based on their needs.
Posted 21 May 2021 12:37

Excerpt from today’s presentation with our ownHaus collaborators:

An Infographic diagram visually representing how the traditional real-estate system is broken compared to ownHaus - Re-orienting funding based on creating pleasant spaces rather than profit allows for a radical shift in priorities. Traditional housing funding systems vs. ownHaus funding system: Based on digital currency, it is creating the flexibility of renting with the asset accumulation of a mortgage.
Posted 21 May 2021 12:37
Posted 21 May 2021 12:40
Posted 21 May 2021 12:40
Posted 21 May 2021 12:41
Posted 21 May 2021 12:41
Posted 21 May 2021 12:41
Posted 21 May 2021 12:41
Posted 21 May 2021 12:42

We're happy to have concluded our Live Project on a high!
Our ownHaus team gave another great presentation to our collaborators, showing the improvements to the design since the last meeting as well as the visualizations of the activities and living environment that is possible with the ownHaus system. We were happy to hear that our collaborators from ownHaus and Project3 are excited to extend this form of engagement in the future to more people who are interested in the new housing model.

We cannot be more proud of our BA students, who not only intuitively understood the technical aspects of the ownHaus model but taken it further with their creative ideas and designs. Throughout the Live Project the students worked together through brain-storming, group sketching, drawing and modelling. They have achieved the following targets:

- To develop a command of a blockchain-based crowdfunded housing model
- To design a sociable and integrated housing project based on the opportunities and constraints of a city centre site
- To develop a set of modular prototypes that can be assembled and tailored to a wider range of locations and user-groups

Well done!

Posted 21 May 2021 14:26