Senior housing architects have hit out at the government's drive to transform the housing industry through the use of modern methods of construction.
Similarly, Cany Ash, of architect Ash Sakula, said the government's ever increasing rhetoric around offsite build was a "religion" which ignored the complexity of place-making.
The comments come in the week that government agency Homes England invested £30m in volumetric modular builder Ilke Homes and after housing minister Esther McVey announced the appointment of consultant Mark Farmer as the government's modern methods of construction (MMC) champion.
But Ash and Karakusevic said the drive for ever-increasing use of MMC was misplaced. Karakusevic, describing the majority of Build to Rent housing, much of which uses MMC, as an "absolute abomination", added: "Most modular housing and volumetric construction I have witnessed in the UK is also crude, overscaled and a complete blight on the city."
At the same event Ash said architects should "resist the sirens of offsite solutions" and "put it back in its place" as part of a drive to humanise the UK's built environment.
"The government has a shorter and shorter attention span and this innovative stuff seems to make them happy," she said. "It makes a lot of other middlemen very happy. It just does not take in the complexity of building places. It's like a religion."
Proponents of offsite and modular housing say the idea that homes built using modern methods are poorly designed is a hangover from a previous era of offsite construction. Newly-appointed MMC champion Mark Farmer has previously made the case that the existing construction industry will lack the skills to meet the demand for homes without widespread adoption of factory methods, and the government says MMC can be part of the answer to poor housing design.
Ash and Karakusevic were speaking at an event entitled British Housing: The Crude the Bad and the Ugly, put on by architect Fourthspace in London.