London’s housing situation is a mess. There, we said it... What do you mean everyone knows?
No, of course we all know it, but so far no one seems to have come up with a solution.
Maybe one of the ten options below could help? They are the finalists in New London Architecture’s international competition to find a way to resolve the London housing shortage.
The ideas will be presented to the Greater London Authority who will study their feasibility as options for the future of the London housing market.
1. The Urban Darning Project from Patrick J.A. Massey CZWG
Employing the sewing technique for repairing holes or worn areas in fabric, The Urban Darning Project aims to encourage small residential developments in central London to ‘fill-in the gaps’ of the urban fabric.
2. Housing over public assets by Bill Price, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
To meet the 488,000 homes supposedly needed in the capital in the next decade, this team have said the focus should be on private companies building apartments above public buildings, such as hospitals, schools and libraries which could then pay for refurbishment or to fully rebuild public services. More than 600,000 homes could be created.
3. Supurbia from HTA Design LLP
The plan here is to intensify London’s suburbs in two ways; redevelop the local main streets and parades as mixed-use places with increased housing and amenity provision; and allowing owner-occupiers of semi-detached homes to develop their land, creating rich diversities of housing.
4. Buoyant Starts from Floating Homes Ltd with Baca Architects
These guys suggest placing floating homes on unused water space in the capital. There are approximately 50 linear miles of rivers and canals forming the waterways network of the Greater London area, and an additional 150 hectares of developable waterspace in the city’s docks, marinas, and basins that are unused called ‘bluefield’ sites.
5. Investing in London’s Future by Learning from its Past from David Kroll
The basic principles of this idea draw on a well-known system of housing development from London’s past - the leasehold system. Separating the cost of housing as a physical product from land costs would make it more affordable to build and buy houses. Suitable public land could be released to build housing, but it would not be sold off to private developers. Instead, it would remain in public ownership.
6. Mega Planning, Beyond 2050 – MegaPlan for a MegaCity from GL Hearn part of Capita Ltd
The green belt land within the M25 (including London) totals 86,000 hectares. The team here suggest using this land to build on, but this approach would be underpinned by a strategic Green Belt review.
7. Active Transport Accessibility Level Opportunity Areas from THE ATAL TEAM
This approach looks at improving the public transport to areas that have less housing density and therefore unlocking more parts of London for building. In turn this will stimulate the development of these areas.
9. Making more with less: unlocking leftover land for generation rent from Pitman Tozer, LB Enfield and Naked House
Not-for-profit housing provider Naked House unlocks small, under-used council-owned sites throughout London to build affordable homes for those on intermediate incomes.
Individually, these sites may be insignificant, but taken together, they can help solve London’s intermediate housing shortage.
9. Wood Blocks from dRMM Architects
A new shell and core housing typology (a tested development model from office buildings) could be used to build homes. This provides ‘ready to camp in’ housing: a structural, weatherproof, thermally- and acoustically-insulated shell which you can then partition and fit-out however you want.
10. Intimate Infrastructures from Natasha Reid Design
The project addresses a ‘missing typology’ of purpose-built shared housing to meet the demand of private renters in the immediate term, while also accommodating larger family homes within a framework that focuses on qualities of place and mixing tenures.
New mass-produced, modular ‘shared houses’ are proposed as standardised components, to speed up delivery, reduce construction costs and regulate minimum levels of space standards.
You can see 100 of the entries on display in the New Ideas for Housing exhibition at the NLA Gallery in The Building Centre until December 17.