Designer Sir Terrance Conran has rufled a few feathers with a proposal that empty office space in Britain's cities could be transformed into residential apartments for young workers so that they could literally live "above the shop".
In a brochure titled Work/Live, a proposition, the designer says that providing customised flats for young workers below their office could reduce traffic congestion, increase the number of homes in inner cities, reduce wasted energy in buildings, enliven business districts at weekends, reduce the stress and cost of commuting and save money for businesses by using redundant office space.
Sir Terence told The Times that he thought of the idea because many of his own staff suffered terrible commutes to work.
But reaction from those the proposals are aimed at was scathing.
"My initial reaction is that it sounds like a terrible idea — you'd never be able to get away from work," said Sikander Mohiuddin, 30, who lives in Ealing and works at Goldman Sachs.
"Who wants to live under their office?... imagine if you were ill and your boss came down to check," said another, while one ex-freelancer said ""Working and living in the same space for many years drove me mad in the end."