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Robson Cezar’s Solar-Powered Houses From Whitechapel Market

December 10, 2023
by the gentle author


Over recent years, we have featured the evolution of Spitalfields artist Robson Cezar‘s wooden houses made from boxes collected for him by the stallholders at Whitechapel Market. This year, Robson has reached the ultimate realisation of his design by fitting his recycled houses with solar panels, which means they charge in daylight and light up automatically at dusk. And they will do this more or less indefinitely.

Robson has enjoyed employing the colours, printed lettering and images of fruit and vegetables on the boxes, and made windows from coloured mushroom crates. Each house is a day’s work and he has been working for months to create this spectacular new collection. Contributing Photographer Sarah Ainslie visited Robson’s studio in Bow to photograph the houses and take his portrait.

Robson has made two kinds of houses fitted with solar panels. He has made a collection of sturdy cardboard ones of similar design but each with different colours, lettering and images. These are £48 each. You can buy these from our online shop by clicking here

He has also made twenty larger wooden houses of unique design, photographed individually below. These are £140 each. We are selling them on a first-come-first-served basis, so if you would like one please email giving your first, second and third choice, and we will supply payment details.


These houses are sculptures not toys and we do not recommend them for children under the age of twelve.


If you place your house in a sunny spot it will light up every night automatically

Robson and his houses

The houses lit up by solar power

Robson Cezar’s cardboard houses

Sideways view of the cardboard houses showing the solar panels

Sideways view of the wooden houses showing the solar panels




















Robson Cezar in his studio

Photographs copyright © Sarah Ainslie

You may also like to take a look at

Robson Cezar, King of The Bottletops

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Cherub permalink
    December 10, 2023

    I am in Copenhagen at the moment and am sure these lovely little houses would fit in with the Danish custom of Hygge. What an excellent way of reusing old wooden boxes too.

  2. Eve permalink
    December 10, 2023

    These little homes are adorable! Imagine what could be achieved if minds were only willing? .. (sigh)

  3. David Hall permalink
    December 10, 2023

    Wonderful ……I hereby nominate Robson for the Turner prize and if there was any justice he would win it .

  4. December 10, 2023

    Magnificent! Robson Cezar has now reached the highest level of his illuminated wooden houses. Great design with solar panels! — I have just started up my “simple” house from 2022 on this second Advent.

    Good luck and have a great pre-Christmas season!

    Love & Peace

  5. December 10, 2023

    As always the photos of Sarah Ainslie provide such a vivid view of an innovative artisan.
    I loved peering down into the “village” of buildings, in Photo 1. Seeing the shadows and pathways
    between the little structures was so magical — it set the scene for a delightful article. And how great to see the individual houses, revealing bits of typography and segments of printed patterns.
    My hat is off to Mr. Cezar, the king of his studio with suitable (packing material!) regalia.

    Onward and upward.

  6. December 10, 2023

    I love them! Particularly that cherry-house with the complementary coloured door and window casings. Another reason to be disappointed that I live in… Massachusetts.

    Warmest wishes for the season–

  7. December 23, 2023

    These tiny sculptures are wonderful! Well done.

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