Exhibition: 25.06.2013 – 05.07.2013
Unit 5 - Constructor Course
Island Urbanism by Alessio Fini
Unit led by David Kohn, Silvia Ullmayer & Alex Gore
About the show
Unit 5 studied self-provided housing models for London, developing new design methods and working with multiple clients.
At present in the UK there is a housing crisis with a massive need for affordable homes and no clear strategy for their delivery. The 2008 economic crash led to the lowest levels of housing supply, mortgage lending and social housing provision for generations with the incumbent widespread social implications and growing inequalities.
In London the problem is particularly acute given the shortage of land and a growing population. Unit 5 asked what should be the qualities of contemporary housing and how might these be delivered. Should housing be standardised and speculative according to rule books as in the Georgian era? Or is the UK ready to work with large groups of end-user clients to develop new housing typologies, common parts that have particular identities, levels of comfort and energy-efficient tailored homes that suit varied needs? Such customised models are being explored outside the UK, so the time is ripe for architects and self-builders to break new ground.
Each student developed their own response to the prevailing conditions, established groups of acting clients, engaged with local suppliers and developed new forms of representation that communicated the basis of each collaborative design decision. The resulting schemes demonstrate how good design coupled with political engagement can lead to exemplary housing architecture and suggest future models for practice.
Simone ten Hompel