The housing situation in the UK is distressing. Not only widespread homelessness, but people with low incomes also can’t afford rent every month. Former Rolls-Royce engineer, Jag Virdie, came up with a solution specifically for this demographic: a living pod.
The Conker: The Future of Affordable Living
Jag Virdie designed what he called The Conker, a small cubicle-like space for people to live in. However, Virdie explains that it’s more than just that. On his website, he writes, “Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.”
The Conker is shaped like a soccer ball, or in the UK, a football. The living pod is 3.9 m in diameter and has a carpet area of 10 square meters. Despite the small size and affordability, the pod has an efficient heat-retention system and is completely waterproof. Its features also include an underfloor heating system, a ventilation system with an air filter, a heat recovery system, a secure locking system, and power sockets, including USB sockets.
“It’s suitable for use in even very remote locations, where, because of its four minimal anchor points, it has almost zero impact upon the ground in which it is set,” said Virdie.
“The spherical design allows for a natural run-off when it rains and no, or very small, foundations ensure zero impact on natural drainage. For the occupiers, a heat-exchange pump ensures a comfortable maintained temperature and a constant flow of fresh air, which really aids sleep and optimizes the body’s metabolism.”
How To Customize The Conker Living Pod
The Conker is customizable and requires only one day to install. “Our mission is to change the way buildings are designed today,” said Virdie, “by disrupting the norm, challenging construction practices at their core.”
The living pod can also be connected to other pods to create more rooms aside from the installed bathroom and kitchenette. The Conker could be a great option for young people who crave privacy in their ever-changing lives. Also, it would make a beautiful reading spot for bookworms.
How Jag Virdie Designed the Conker
“We aspire to bring automotive and aerospace engineering standards to the construction industry,” says Conker’s official website. “By using these principles, we have already achieved and exceeded building regulations multiple times. In addition, our collaboration with Keele University has brought a new framework into play where the building is designed around the user, rather than the other way around. This is known as ‘User-Centered Design’ which allows us to be efficient in design from the onset.”
Virdie began his career in automotive design and engineering with Rolls-Royce Bentley then eventually set up his own freelance design business in 2010. He designed the Conker originally as a spherical treehouse for his kids. With his previous car-designing skills, he created a living pod that could aid with the current UK housing crisis. It costs a one-time price of $24,000, which is low when considering the rent of an average middle-class family.
“The Conker was born in 2015 through the knowledge that a building should be beautiful, aerodynamic, strong, and versatile,” says its website. “We envisaged a contemporary, state of the art, desirable environment which could be adapted and personalized without limitation. A sphere was the natural choice due to its streamlined and structural properties.”
Image credit: Conkerliving
Virdie considers the current Conker as his starting point. “We’re looking at smaller ones and much larger ones that will be three bedrooms inside and even a full house, and all the foundation you require are the four legs, so you don’t need to disrupt the ground. Because of the shape of it, there’s no maintenance on the outside and you can even update it when you want by requesting new panels.”
The purchase procedure is a three-step process. It’s quite hassle-free at that. All you have to do is register, check the location and then customize your Conker to make it your own!
The Conker can be an office space, a bedroom, a lab, a play area, a sitting room, attach multiple living pods to each other.
It’s a simple innovation that could potentially aid the modern world of inflation and rising population.