A Gateshead architecture firm is set to revolutionise housing in the former Soviet Union, beginning with designs for a new development in Mongolia.
Gradon Architecture has submitted its design proposals for 50 energy-efficient homes in the country’s capital Ulaanbaator, a city regarded as the second most polluted on the planet according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Working with a local developer, the designs could become the blueprint for the overhaul of Soviet-era homes across the city, helping to protect residents against temperatures which often dip to minus 30C.
The three and four storey townhouses, in the Nukht Valley district of the city, have features to reduce heat loss and keep families warm – including photovoltaic panels, solar hot water heating and insulation – and are set to be green lit by the Government Department of Construction and Planning.
Chris Allan, associate architect at Gradon Architecture, said: “Many buildings in Ulaanbaatar date back to the Soviet era.
“This means that many people are living in poor quality accommodation, which lacks even basic polystyrene insulation as well as double glazing.
“In one of the coldest and heavily polluted cities in the world, this is having a real impact – especially on public health.
“We believe that designing modern, sustainable homes for the future can truly improve people’s lives.
“Therefore by raising the standards of energy-efficiency as part of this scheme, we hope to create a blueprint for the way both executive and affordable homes will be built in the city going forward.
“The government has made a real commitment to creating better homes for everyone across the city, including those people living in the ‘Ger-Districts’.
“Master-planning is now underway for the city. If our proposals can deliver an exemplar project from which future developments can draw from, we believe thousands of families will benefit from improved living standards in the future.”
Based at NE40 Studios, a converted locally listed church in Ryton, Gradon Architecture is growing its international reputation for delivering a range of international design projects in countries such as Australia, China, and Kazakhstan.
Once plans have been approved construction work in Mongolia will begin onsite in summer 2014.