Buckingham Palace could be transformed to convert its luxurious 775 rooms and rooftop space into a solution for London’s housing crisis. At least, that’s the idea behind “Affordable Palace,” a tongue-in-cheek proposal from German design firm Opposite Office. The architects have released plans that add a multi-story extension on top of the royal palace and redesign the interiors to eliminate corridors and walls so the space can be repurposed as desired.
These radical changes could house up to 50,000 people within shared community living spaces and “improve the Queen’s social standing” in Britain at the same time. Close-ups of the floor plans show a tight grid of rooms radiating out from eight spiral staircases, and while it looks ab it chaotic at first glance with an open network of rooms lacking privacy, inhabitants would actually just pass into common spaces like living rooms and kitchens to get to their own bedrooms.
Now that Opposite Office has made it easy for this idea to proceed, they say, the ball is in Queen Elizabeth’s court. Benedict Hartl, the firm’s founder, wrote an open letter to the Queen about the plans.
“Your Majesty/To Whom it May Concern, At the moment you Englisher are not to be envied… in addition to the self-made Brexit hullabaloo, there is teh largest housing shortage in history! Large parts of population – ‘generation rent’ are locked out of the housing market. Affordable housing is missing! On the other side there is the 800,000 cost for refurbishing Buckingham Palace :(“
“This is why I thought we can develop a strategy to fix both problems! We developed a roof extension/refurbishment of Buckingham Palace to place social (affordable!) housing on top of the palace. Use your royal power & money to create affordable housing in London. We, as architects help you with this matter. We would be delighted to present our project the ‘Affordable Palace’ to you. P.S. Sorry for any mistakes. I am German.”