Archinect - News 2018-06-20T13:11:01-04:00 Kanye West's first YEEZY Home project appears to be a prefab affordable housing scheme Alexander Walter 2018-06-04T14:00:00-04:00 >2018-06-10T19:55:59-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>It's been merely a month since rapper/entrepreneur/design aficionado Kanye West <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">announced</a> on Twitter that he would launch an architecture venture with his design firm, to be called <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">YEEZY Home</a>, and now first renderings have appeared on Instagram that list West among the designers. <br></p> <p>"Low income housing scheme, made of prefabricated concrete in collaboration with Petra Kustrin, Jalil Peraza, Kanye West, Nejc Skufca," reads the caption of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">an image</a> that shows a minimalist courtyard flanked by walls that mimic the brutalist, austere aesthetic of West's latest private estate as well as his <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">YEEZY HQ</a> in Calabasas, a posh Los Angeles suburb. <br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image via Jalil Peraza/@jalilperaza on Instagram.</figcaption></figure><p>The image was shared by designer, and former Kanye West collaborator, Jalil Peraza who added another rendering this morning of an ultraminimalist kitchen with muted brass and concrete surfaces, crediting the same design team.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image Jalil Peraza via</figcaption></figure><p><em>Hypebeast</em> also <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">published</a> another rendering o...</p> Shared housing startups prepare for big business Alexander Walter 2018-05-23T15:54:00-04:00 >2018-05-26T13:31:04-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A Crunchbase News analysis of residential-focused real estate startups uncovered a raft of companies with a shared and temporary housing focus that have raised funding in the past year or so. This isn&rsquo;t a U.S.-specific phenomenon. Funded shared and short-term housing startups are cropping up across the globe, from China to Europe to Southeast Asia.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Crunchbase reporter Joanna Glasner takes a look at the new crop of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">shared and short-term housing</a> startups that have recently raised millions of dollars in funding, such as Common, Starcity, Roomi, Ollie, HubHaus, and others.<br></p> Patrik Schumacher calls for a 'capitalist revolution' to fix housing Alexander Walter 2018-05-15T15:06:00-04:00 >2018-05-21T15:14:23-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Housing is one of our most essential and cherished commodities. It is rightly one of our biggest markets, but unfortunately one of the most politicised, suffocating under quasi-socialist political interventionism. The loss of prosperity in our whole society is enormous. Not only because of poor housing provision, but because of its stifling impact on all economic activities. That&rsquo;s why the need for a capitalist revolution is so urgent.</p></em><br /><br /><p>It's been a bit quiet around Zaha Hadid Architects principal and outspoken free-market evangelist <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Patrik Schumacher</a> since his last big public statement calling for the elimination of social housing caused an <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">overwhelming backlash</a>, but now he's back with a new commentary piece on how to fix housing via privatization and deregulation, published in <em>The Guardian</em>.<br></p> David Chipperfield on the crisis of architecture Alexander Walter 2018-05-15T14:15:00-04:00 >2018-05-16T08:35:50-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>&ldquo;I think architecture is in a sort of crisis,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve lost our social purpose. What we are seeing now is construction as a product of investment. We are building a lot, but we are building big investment projects, as if we&rsquo;re doing architecture without architecture. It&rsquo;s more about investment than it is about urbanism. We used to be involved in planning and building cities, building societies. But now we are discussing housing as if it were a strange product like washing machines [...]</p></em><br /><br /><p>In Jan Dalley's <em>FT</em> piece, the soft-spoken British architect expresses his concerns about architecture as a mere tool of the free market, the shrinking role of architects as society builders, and why we are building "horrible cities."<br></p> The tower block as a recurring theme in post-Soviet photography Alexander Walter 2018-05-04T15:24:00-04:00 >2018-05-04T15:24:30-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In some places, the tower block has never faded from view. The history of mass housing in eastern Europe is complex and uncomfortable. Yet what&rsquo;s striking is how prominently the tower block features in the work of contemporary photographers from that territory. These artists have every reason to turn their backs on such buildings. They&rsquo;re ugly and&nbsp;overbearing, not to say reminiscent of an authoritarian past. But the mass housing block is a recurring presence in their work.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Writer and critic Ekow Eshun provides a beautiful overview of the <em>tower block</em> as a recurring architectural, social, and aesthetic theme in the works of post-Soviet-era photographers in Russia, Serbia, the Baltic states, and throughout Eastern Europe.&nbsp;</p><p>"However ugly and monolithic such buildings were after all, they provided homes for people and are worth time and scrutiny as sites of possibility and connection," Ekow writes. "They were places where people gathered to sleep and eat, to argue and to raise families. And they continue to be so. Perhaps this is a modest artistic aim. But it&rsquo;s also a worthwhile one."</p> Hollywood Center towers proposed near Capitol Records Building Alexander Walter 2018-04-12T14:02:00-04:00 >2018-04-12T14:14:53-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Developer MP Los Angeles has announced plans to construct Hollywood Center, a $1-billion mixed-use complex near the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood. According to MP Los Angeles, the project - which was filed today with the City of Los Angeles - will feature the largest on-site affordable housing component of any market-rate development in the history of the city.&nbsp;</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>The landmark Capitol Records building sits right adjacent to the proposed Hollywood Center development. Image: MP Los Angeles.</figcaption></figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Handel Architects</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">James Corner Field Operations</a> will be in charge of designing the two 35 and 46-story high-rise towers, two 11-story mid-rise buildings, and two civic plazas on either side of Vine Street.&nbsp;</p> <p>Of the 1005 residential units, 133 will be dedicated for very-low and extremely-low income seniors, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">project website</a> points out.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Hollywood Center, site plan. Image: MP Los Angeles.</figcaption></figure><p>Readers familiar with previously proposed developments near the Capitol Records Building may remember the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Millennium Hollywood</a> project and the issues of earthquake safety it ran into. Hollywood Center's website is quick to emphasize that geologists had conducted "multiple cone penetrometer tests and soil borings, as well as excavated a 30-foot deep and 134-foot long trench" and found that there was in fact no active fault line beneath the project site.</p> Cruise ships, tenements, drainpipes: Hong Kong's housing crisis inspires creative design approaches Alexander Walter 2018-03-27T14:03:00-04:00 >2018-03-27T14:06:09-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>For eight years in a row, an international survey of nearly 300 cities has named Hong Kong the world&rsquo;s least affordable housing market. [...] Architects and developers have also put forward some novel proposals, ranging from the quirky to the audacious. While some of the ideas may be repackaged versions of the cramped spaces the city has long known, others could reshape the future of housing in Hong Kong.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>The proposal by architect James Law to squeeze 100-square-foot micro apartments into concrete drainpipes was widely <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">published</a> a few weeks ago. The <em>NYT</em> <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">lists</a> a few more 'solutions'&nbsp;&mdash; some lofty, others being already implemented.<br></p> Unzoning; A conversation with Seattle's Mike Eliason about Passivhaus, not-for-profit housing and the marriage of high design with high function Archinect 2018-03-23T12:41:00-04:00 >2018-05-04T18:32:02-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>This week we have Mike Eliason on the podcast, Seattle-based Project Manager at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Patano Studio</a> and proponent of Passivhaus,&nbsp;Baugruppen, and a car-free cycling life. Long-time Archinectors may recognize him by his username holzbox, OP to a forum favorite <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">minimal details</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Listen to&nbsp;episode 119 of&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Archinect Sessions</a>, &ldquo;Unzoning&rdquo;.</p> <ul><li><strong>iTunes</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to listen</a>, and click the "Subscribe" button below the logo to automatically download new episodes.</li><li><strong>Apple Podcast App (iOS)</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="http://pcast//" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to subscribe</a></li><li><strong>SoundCloud</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">click here to follow Archinect</a></li><li><strong>RSS</strong>:&nbsp;subscribe&nbsp;with any of your favorite podcasting apps via our RSS feed:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a></li><li><strong>Download</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">this episode</a></li></ul><p><strong><br></strong></p> <p><strong>Shownotes:</strong></p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dietrich Untertrifaller</a><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><br></a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Baumschlager Eberle</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bernardo Bader</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hermann Kaufmann</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Florian Nagler</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Michael Green</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Nordic Structures</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Structurlam</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Structurecraft</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ecocon Straw Panels</a></li><li>Mike is reading <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bauen und Wohnen in Gemeinschaft / Building and Living in Communities</a></li><li>Mike is listening to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Modern/Classical Ambient</a></li></ul>... Japan's disposable housing culture Alexander Walter 2018-03-22T13:48:00-04:00 >2018-03-22T15:33:40-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>[...] the value of the average Japanese house depreciates to zero in 22 years. (It is calculated separately from the land, which is more likely to hold its value.) Most are knocked down and rebuilt. Sales of new homes far outstrip those of used ones, which usually change hands in the expectation that they will be demolished and replaced. In America and Europe second-hand houses accounted for 90% of sales and new-builds for 10% in 2017. In Japan the proportions are the other way around.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>Economist</em> article</a> describes Japan&rsquo;s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">throwaway housing culture</a> as a phenomenon that is not only a burden on the national economy and the environment but also does not see renovation and refurbishment of existing structures as an appreciation in value.</p> <p>There are exceptions of course: one rare example of an upgraded old structure is <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">this Kyoto guest house</a> makeover by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio</a>, published on Archinect earlier this month.<br></p> San Francisco nixes funding for affordable senior housing project in wealthy neighborhood after pushback from residents Alexander Walter 2018-03-12T17:35:00-04:00 >2018-03-13T11:59:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The City quietly told developers this week that it will no longer fund a 150-unit affordable senior housing project proposed in the wealthy Forest Hill neighborhood, citing rising costs and neighborhood pushback. [...] Neighbors have also railed against the project at community meetings since 2016 when the project was first funded, claiming impoverished tenants at the affordable housing project would endanger their neighborhood.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Pritzker Prize laureate Balkrishna Doshi: architecture needs to invest in dignity of low-income housing Alexander Walter 2018-03-12T13:35:00-04:00 >2018-03-12T13:38:17-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Speaking to the Guardian after the announcement of his award, Doshi said that architects and urban planners involved in low-income housing projects &ndash; as well as architectural education &ndash; needed to move away from their focus on the designer as individual to being far more collaborative, compassionate and invested in the dignity of those they house.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Study up on the impressive body of work of freshly minted Pritzker Prize laureate, Balkrishna Doshi, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a>.<br></p> Another car brand enters residential design: MINI is creating China's first co-living project Alexander Walter 2018-03-08T13:49:00-05:00 >2018-03-08T13:51:00-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>With its newest project, the MINI Living building in Shanghai, the car brand is continuing its venture into the urban living sector. The rental market in big cities across the world is an interesting addition to the list of urban challenges that it seeks to address with its MINI Living program.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image: MINI</figcaption></figure><p>"MINI LIVING will become a home for singles, sharers and families on short, medium-term and extended tenancies," a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">statement</a> by the BMW-owned car(ish) brand explains the co-living concept. "The design and therefore the character of the apartment interiors is international, modern and clean, and features references to the history of Shanghai. However, living in an apartment that occupies only a small surface area in no way means going without. Anything that doesn&rsquo;t fit inside the apartments can be accommodated in the adjacent spaces."</p> The half-billion-dollar Bel Air giga-mansion is still looking for a buyer Alexander Walter 2018-03-05T14:14:00-05:00 >2018-03-05T20:19:24-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The construction of this and other so-called giga-mansions underscores a new gilded age in the United States and especially in LA. [...] The splurge comes amid a housing shortage that has fuelled a homelessness crisis, with 57,000 people without permanent shelter in LA county [...]. The Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez compared the city&rsquo;s hilltop mansions to giant tombstones marking the death of humility.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Guardian</em> takes a peek into the world of ultra-luxury real estate developer Niles Niami whose latest endeavor&mdash;the sprawling Bel Air hilltop giga-mansion with its four swimming pools, 20 bedrooms, movie theater, and nightly club aptly called The One&mdash;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">frequently makes the news</a> for being America's priciest home. Clocking in at $500m, the property is still waiting for a billionaire buyer.</p> L.A.'s homeless count nearly doubled in six years Alexander Walter 2018-02-10T09:00:00-05:00 >2018-02-09T21:15:37-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The number of those living in the streets and shelters of the city of L.A. and most of the county surged 75% &mdash; to roughly 55,000 from about 32,000 &mdash; in the last six years. But the crisis has been decades in the making. If homelessness continues to escalate at current rates, it will swamp even the best efforts.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Despite <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">declaring homelessness in the city an 'emergency'</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">committing drastically increased funds</a> to housing and services, Los Angeles is failing to improve the lives of its unsheltered citizens.</p> The 'Tinder' for apartment swapping launches in the Netherlands Alexander Walter 2018-01-23T15:06:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Dutch social renters wanting to move to a new apartment can now use an app to swap houses with other renters. One precondition, both renters need to &lsquo;like&rsquo; each other&rsquo;s apartment to get a match. [...] Young renters with small apartments may swap with older residents who live in bigger apartments. In this way, the issue of scheefwonen (skew living &mdash; when people live in apartments that do not match their needs and desires) within the Dutch rental sector could be solved.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p><em>"After two apartments are matched, the users are introduced to each other, after which they have to find out if their rental agreements are compatible enough for the renters to swap house."</em></p> A look at the alarmingly long wait times for Section 8 housing in U.S. cities Alexander Walter 2018-01-04T13:59:00-05:00 >2018-01-04T14:04:18-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Stacker was one of 188,000 people who applied for 20,000 spots in the voucher waiting line for the Housing Authority of the city of Los Angeles. And that line won&rsquo;t be moving quickly. The Housing Authority&rsquo;s Section 8 director, Carlos VanNatter, said only about 200 vouchers become available here every month, basically when a pay raise makes someone ineligible or someone dies.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While the national average wait time for Section 8 vouchers is currently more than two years (with nearly half of all housing authorities having closed their lists to new applicants), the situation in big cities like New York and Los Angeles is so dire that residents have to apply for a coveted spot on the waiting list via a lottery held every few years. And there's no sign of easing: "President Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget would slash more than $6 billion from the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">U.S. Housing office, or HUD</a>, which funds Section 8," Marketplace reports.</p> In search of better affordable housing: the origin story of the Bronx's Twin Parks development Alexander Walter 2017-12-27T14:02:00-05:00 >2017-12-27T14:02:39-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In the 1970s, a state agency tapped some of the best young architects in the country for an ambitious affordable housing effort that&mdash;despite its flaws&mdash;could not be matched today. Twin Parks, an affordable housing project in the Bronx, does not comport with expectations. [...] Overall, it provides palpably better affordable housing than what&rsquo;s typically offered in the U.S., and maintains an engaged community.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>CityLab</em> writer Anthony Paletta looks back at the origins of the 1970s Twin Parks affordable housing development in the Bronx and its (now) famous architects who were then just gaining traction in their young careers, most notably Richard Meier, James Polshek (and this year's winner of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">AIA Gold Medal</a>), and Lo-Yi Chan.</p> One of Britain's most important 20th-century housing complexes may be demolished Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-12-26T10:00:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Despite being in the midst of a housing crisis, the United Kingdom seems bent on destroying some of the finest examples of social housing the post-war era has to offer, even <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">tampering with the heritage-listing system</a>&nbsp;in order to do so. The <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Robin Hood Gardens</a> council estate, an icon of brutalist architecture, was recently demolished despite a huge effort involving nation wide press coverage and support from architects like Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers to save it&mdash;a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">three story segment was even purchased quite unusually by the V&amp;A Museum</a> in order to salvage an intact piece of the building.</p> <p>Now, it appears the Alton Estate in Roehampton may be next in line for the chopping block. According to <em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Apollo Magazine</a></em>, the complex is under threat "from proposals to demolish the center of the estate and replace it with a very large, very clashing new development." Inspired by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Le Corbusier</a>'s L'Unite d'Habitation in Marseille, the Alton estate designed by London County Council's architects departme...</p> Corrupt NYC landlord ordered to pay a record $8M to tenants and sentenced to 1 year at Rikers Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-12-22T14:31:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In the summer of 2016, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman charged Croman with 20 felonies, including harassing tenants at rent-regulated apartments within his various properties as well as falsifying rental income in order to secure as much as $45 million in financing. This fall, Croman plead guilty to charges of grand larceny, tax fraud, and an additional fraud charge relating to false statements.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The notorious <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Manhattan</a> landlord Steve Croman, who owned nearly 150 buildings across the city, has agreed to pay $8 million to his former tenants, the largest-ever settlement with an individual landlord in the state. Additionally, he has been sentenced to serve one year of jail time at Rikers Island.</p> <p>In recent years, New York lawmakers have been pushing for stricter laws to crack down on abusive landlords. Back in August, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an 18-law package that aims to protect tenants from harassment by landlords and make it easier for residents to take abusive building owners to court. They also increase punishments and enforce laws against dangerous and illegal construction.&nbsp;</p> <p>Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has echoed these efforts, emphasizing that his office has zero tolerance for landlords who try to boost their profits while disregarding the wellbeing of their tenants. Croman, who would push out rent-regulated tenants by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">turning off their electricity, removing wa...</a></p> Lifting poor neighborhoods out of poverty with alternative investment models Alexander Walter 2017-12-06T14:08:00-05:00 >2017-12-06T14:10:40-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>How do you raise the standard of living in the poorest neighborhoods in the country? That&rsquo;s what community developers, typically nonprofits that build and finance affordable housing, have tried to do over the last few decades. And yet [...] many of these communities remain stuck in poverty. [...] This problem has stumped community developers for decades. But two local nonprofits think they&rsquo;ve hit on something: They&rsquo;ve created a private equity fund.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> New case of proposed "Poor Door" in Honolulu Alexander Walter 2017-12-04T14:01:00-05:00 >2017-12-04T14:01:52-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A real estate developer in Hawaii is under scrutiny for its plans to build a residential high-rise that has two separate entrances: one for high-income residents and another for low-income earners. [...] will include 78 affordable rental units for people earning 80 percent or less of the area median income, as required by Honolulu&rsquo;s affordable housing strategy. The other 351 units will be market-priced condominiums. If things go as ProsPac plans, the units will be separated with two entrances.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Various examples of so-called "poor doors" in New York City, London, and Vancouver made the headlines in previous years, sparking heated debate <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">across a number of Archinect comment sections</a>.</p> Framework Awarded $6M from City of Portland “Fast Starts” Program to Support Affordable Housing Anthony Morey 2017-11-12T09:00:00-05:00 >2017-11-12T01:47:59-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>"By investing in Framework, our city will now be home to the first skyscraper made from wood in the United States. This project not only reflects Oregon&rsquo;s leadership in the newly emerging wood products industry of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), it also demonstrates our city&rsquo;s commitment to finding innovative ways to quickly deliver affordable units during our housing crisis,&rdquo; said Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">LEVER Architecture</a>'s project, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Framework</a>, has been awarded 6M from the city of Portland as a recipient of the City's "Fast Starts" Affordable Housing Program. The program aims at providing financial and city level assistance in the development and deployment of affordable housing projects that aim to deliver on both the means and methods of relieving the city's housing crisis.&nbsp;</p> You get a home! And you get a home! We all get homes. Anthony Morey 2017-11-12T01:45:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A big obstacle to attracting new recruits is the stigma around working in the public sector. There remains a widely-held stereotype that planning departments are the realm of dusty, tweed-jacketed types, nested in their booths for the last half century. Williams says that when he started at Croydon, a colleague pitied him, assuming he had ended up there because he couldn&rsquo;t get a job in an architecture practice.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With the explosion of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">STARCHITECTS</a>&nbsp;collecting major commission after major commission in the same manner children collect toys, a young office in London, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Public Practice</a>, has found a niche all to their own &mdash; one who's historical stigma only expanded Public Practice's potential and possibilities.</p> <p>Finn Williams and Pooja Agrawal opened Public Practice as a means to bring a new generation of architects, planners, and local government together with the aim of shaping the public realm effectively, creatively and collaboratively.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;I realized important decisions were happening much further upstream, in the realms of policy, way before an architect would even get involved.&rdquo; </em>Fin&nbsp;Williams</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Finn Williams and Pooja Agrawal. Photograph: Eleanor Bentall/Greater London Authority</figcaption></figure> Mosul scheme focuses on housing some of the city’s 900,000 internally displaced people post-liberation Weston Williamson 2017-10-31T19:05:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>A prototype affordable housing scheme for post-Daesh Mosul by Weston Williamson + Partners has received an honourable mention in the Rifat Chadirji Prize.&nbsp; It was the only UK entry among the finalists.&nbsp;</p> <figure><img src=";auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028"></figure><figure><img src=";auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028"></figure><p>The prototype focuses on housing some of the city&rsquo;s 900,000 internally displaced people who will be returning to their homes following its liberation.&nbsp; It addresses the long term housing crisis as well as the situation immediate post-occupation and suggests a predominantly autonomous, self-build housing process.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <figure><img src=";auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028"></figure><p>Opportunities for choice and adaptation over time are incorporated, ingraining sustainability through a sense of ownership. People can build what they need as they need it; funding is used more efficiently and more directly. </p> <figure><img src=";auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028"></figure><p>In the short term, data about the current condition of the city can be gathered through crowd-sourcing mechanisms.&nbsp; Waste material from the city centre can be cleared to the city periphery, to be processed into basic building materials, for a range ...</p> New report shows 60-percent drop in U.S. affordable-housing stock between 2010 and 2016 Alexander Walter 2017-10-24T14:20:00-04:00 >2017-10-24T14:20:47-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The number of apartments deemed affordable for very low-income families&nbsp;across the United States fell by more than 60 percent between 2010 and 2016, according to a new report by Freddie Mac. The report by the government-backed mortgage financier is the first to compare rent increases in specific units over time. It examined loans that the corporation had financed twice between 2010 and 2016, allowing a comparison of the exact same rental units and how their affordability changed.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>The Washington Post </em>reports about a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">new report</a> by Freddie Mac: "More renters flooded the market after people lost their homes in the housing crisis. The apartment vacancy rate was 8 percent in 2009, compared to 4 percent in 2017. That trend, coupled with a stagnant supply of apartments, resulted in increased rents."</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>Some of the states with the highest decreases in the percentage of affordable units were Colorado and North&nbsp;Carolina.</p> Neave Brown, this year's RIBA Royal Gold Medal laureate, caught by "dumbfounding surprise" to receive highest honor Alexander Walter 2017-10-06T14:25:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>&ldquo;It is an absolutely dumbfounding surprise [...] I stopped following architecture years ago, so I had no idea there was this renewed interest in my work until recently. I thought my buildings were a curiosity of the past that people had largely forgotten about.&rdquo; Brown is now celebrated for his inventive housing schemes and enjoys the accolade of being the only living architect to have all of his work in the UK listed. But recognition has been a long time coming.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Social housing pioneer Neave Brown, now 88 years old, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">was awarded</a> the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">RIBA Royal Gold Medal</a>, the UK's highest accolade for architecture, just a week ago. <em>The Guardian</em> architecture critic Oliver Wainwright got a chance to chat with Brown about his career and good London housing.<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Current condition of Alexandra Road Estate. Image courtesy of RIBA.</figcaption></figure> As shopping malls are dying in urban areas, land becomes available again for housing Alexander Walter 2017-10-04T13:47:00-04:00 >2017-10-04T13:50:02-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Acres of prime real estate are opening for redevelopment as America&rsquo;s malls struggle to compete with Amazon and other online giants, offering developers a rare shot to remake swaths of land in the country&rsquo;s built-out metropolises. In particular, real estate experts say, the demise of retail centers provides one of the best chances to add needed housing [...].</p></em><br /><br /><p>In his article, <em>LA Times</em> reporter Andrew Khouri also points out the drawbacks of these new development opportunities, writing "residents voiced concern that the development will make the area more attractive to those of higher incomes and put upward pressure on rents in the surrounding area, even as the housing supply expands."</p> Two-family house designed and built by Yale students opens in New Haven Noémie Despland-Lichtert 2017-09-29T15:33:00-04:00 >2017-09-29T16:45:37-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>This year&rsquo;s house marks the 50th project built by first-year students in the Yale School of Architecture&rsquo;s professional degree program. Since it started in 1967, the building project has produced structures for communities around New Haven, including the Bridgeport band shell, pavilions in East Rock Park and Lighthouse Point Park, and since 1989, affordable housing units for over 30 families.</p></em><br /><br /><p>First-year graduate students at Yale School of Architecture and Design have built a family house in New Haven. The two units are separated by a walkway but under the same roof. The project was realized in collaboration with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Columbus House</a>, a New Haven-based <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">homelessness</a> services provider. Most of the house was prefabricated on Yale campus.&nbsp;</p> Richard Florida on the fragility of the Urban Revival Alexander Walter 2017-09-06T15:26:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>For all the concern about the gentrification, rising housing prices and the growing gap between the rich and poor in our leading cities, an even bigger threat lies on the horizon: The urban revival that swept across America over the past decade or two may be in danger. As it turns out, the much-ballyhooed new age of the city might be giving way to a great urban stall-out.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Richard Florida paints a gloomy picture of the state of the great American urban revival in his <em>NYT</em> op-ed, "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Urban Revival Is Over</a>," citing gentrification, income disparity, rising crime numbers, unaffordable housing prices, and the anti-urban agenda of the current White House tenants. <br></p> <p>Joe Cortright, over at <em>City Observatory</em>, offers a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">good analysis</a> of Florida's piece; breaking down numbers, highlighting statistics, weighing in on the crime numbers claim, and easing the general dystopian mood: "Rather than proclaiming the end of the urban revival, Florida&rsquo;s evidence really makes the case for a renewed national commitment to building more great urban neighborhoods."<br></p> Examining the Housing Crisis—a book and a film Anastasia Tokmakova 2017-09-01T15:46:00-04:00 >2017-09-01T15:46:31-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Housing has instead become one of the primary drivers of global capitalism, through commodification and financialization, making its function as real estate more important than its use as lived, space. It is the result of spatial developments being market-driven. Madden and Marcuse: &ldquo;housing is not produced and distributed for dwelling at all,&rdquo; but &ldquo;as a commodity to enrich the few.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>The German documentary <em>City for Sale</em> that came out last year and the recently released book <em>In Defense of Housing</em> are the perfect match for anyone who wants to learn about the broken nature of housing markets, the crisis currently happening in all big cities worldwide.</p> <p><em>City for Sale</em> consists of interviews taken over a course&nbsp;of 4 years, where the author, Andreas Wilcke, accompanies real estate agents and investors during their daily routine and films tenants struggling to cope with the situation, providing the viewers with an opportunity to experience the turnaround of a whole city virtually at first hand. <em><br></em></p><p><em>In&nbsp;Defense of Housing</em> by&nbsp;David Madden and Peter Marcuse, too, is full of examples from both sides of the story, where personal property are examined as both categories&ndash;shelter, safety, identity for the general population versus investment and a supplemental source of income for the lucky few. The book also demonstrates examples of numerous cities and countries, detailing destructi...</p>