TWO University of Brighton graduates have designed the UK’s largest temporary accommodation development, providing emergency accommodation for up to 288 people before the Christmas and New Year period.

John Smith and Roman Schneker both studied architectural technology and now run Cityzen, the sustainable architecture and engineering practice in Portslade.

They said seeing the faces of people entering their new homes was motivating.

They designed the development reusing shipping containers, for Sussex developers QED.

The 60-apartments provided in Acton, West London, for Ealing Council include 32 with two bedrooms, 20 with one bedroom and also eight studio homes.

Each has its own kitchenette, shower room, and front door. There will also be a management office and laundry unit.

The apartments are based around Cityzen’s modular design of one, two and three adjoining units.

Cityzen produced 315 drawings and each container build was tracked from the design process through to the factory construction and to delivery on site.

Cityzen designed not only the apartments but the building services in the apartments, and utilities to site.

John said: “It was a tough challenge, given just ten months from first concept sketch to tenants moving in, and we’re proud to have played a part in helping Ealing Council provide homes before Christmas for people who would otherwise be in B&Bs or moved to another borough.”

John started as a building services engineer but was continually asked to look at the fabric and design of building to improve the performance.

He saw energy and sustainability were coming to the fore in the building industry so in 2003 he moved to Brighton to train at the University. Roman studied the same course at the School of Environment and Technology.