Monday, 21 May 2012

Chipperfield on housing

Good to read of David Chipperfield speaking out about affordable housing in the AJ - and the general difficulty of getting decent housing built at all in this country.

Chipperfield complains correctly about greenfield sprawl, but much brownfield housing, which he says is preferable, is poor as well - usually for rather different reasons.  Another high-profile architect whose views are generally worth listening to, Rem Koolhaas, once observed that there are two kinds of airport: too large and too small.  Housing in this country is going that way too: we build pixie f**k-hutches in the middle of nowhere, and we build monster condos, but the middle way - good, ordinary, medium to high density housing comparable with what already exists across most of central London - while not unknown, seems a lot harder to achieve. 

And what is even harder, and really matters even more - when most sites allocated for housing are not very suitable for housing, but are the only ones where there are no nimbies will moan about it - is joining up the new bits to the old bits.  If it's not near anyone's back yard, it will probably be hard to get to and get from - since we don't plan for infrastructure any better than we plan for housing. 

Building affordable housing, as Chipperfield suggests, 'not as an adjunct to unaffordable housing, but as an aim in itself', sounds like something we should all agitate for. 

No comments:

Post a Comment