Julia Atkins is a PhD candidate currently conducting research on the future of the Victorian terraced house within the context of the Green agenda. Julia is a professional researcher who has worked mainly for local, regional and central government on housing, planning and social issues. She also has experience in academia at the Bartlett School of Architecture and in the voluntary sector.
From 1860 to 2060 what is the future of the modest Victorian terraced house?
The modest Victorian house is defined as a two storey, terraced house of around 110 square meters or 1,200 square feet. In parts of our cities there are swathes of this housing; and in central London this form of housing is the ‘backbone’ of the market for sale and rent. Of significance is the calculation that current rates of new house building are so low that existing housing might have to last for another 150 years, when in 2021 the Victorian house is well into its second century of life. The main research question asks for how long will the modest, Victorian, terraced house last and what measures will be needed to ensure an extended life that also fulfils the requirements of the Green agenda.
The development of Victorian housing in London, and in the London Borough of Southwark, is traced in a review of the literature as background to a detailed study of the design, construction and materials used for the speculatively built Victorian terraced house. Although the house is the focus of the research, it has also provided a ‘home’ and an income for successive owners and the interrelationship between the physical, the people and the ‘systems’ (public and market interventions) underlines the research.
The story of house, owners and ‘system’ is brought together in a small Study Area, in which the current physical condition of the housing and its fitness for the future will be tested. The characteristics of past owners of the housing are revealed and in qualitative interviews with current owners their experience of the housing and their future intentions are explored. The Study Area was chosen because there is a provenance of information and data that exists in a chronological line from the mid-19th century.
Julia Atkins holds a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Social Policy and Planning from London School of Economics (LSE).
Julia is a professional researcher who has worked mainly for local, regional and central government on housing, planning and social issues. She also has experience in academia at the Bartlett and in the voluntary sector. For 20 years she headed a research team of 30 staff as part of the London Research Centre, the London Boroughs’ research unit. The team competed for research contracts from central government and also advised government on housing and social exclusion.
From 2003 Julia worked as a consultant until she joined London Met in 2008 to lecture and research at the School of Social Professions and the School of Art, Architecture and Design. She now combines consultancy work with her PhD.
- Mulrenan, Patrick, Atkins, Julia and Cox, Simon (2018) ‘I didn’t know what strong was until it was required’: factors that promote retention among homeless students in higher education. Journal of Further and Higher Education. 44 (6). 1-12.
- Mulrenan, Patrick, Atkins, Julia and Cox, Simon (2017) ‘I get up in the night to cry’: The impact of homelessness on higher education students in London, UK. Critical Social Policy. 38 (1).
|Research Profile||Julia Atkins|