In April 2019 Architects for Social Housing was invited by Murray Fraser, Professor of Architecture and Global Culture and Vice-Dean of Research at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, to be part of an experts group to advise his team in the Centre for London Urban Design (CLOUD) on a design research project being funded by the European Union, and in which they are looking at comparative proposals for ‘socially-mixed housing’ in London and Gothenburg.
The meeting was held on 17 May, and in addition to ASH, had representatives from HTA Architects (which has been complicit in the demolition and redevelopment of the Ferrier, South Acton, Waltham Forest, Kender, Aylesbury, Ebury Bridge, Ravensbury, New Avenue and Clapham Park estates), Levitt Bernstein Architects (which has been complicit in the demolition and redevelopment of the Aylesbury, Eastfields, Winstanley, York Road and Rayners Lane estates), Macreanor Lavington Architects (which has been complicit in the demolition and redevelopment of the Heygate and Alma estates), Public Practice (which on behalf of the Greater London Authority is overseeing the placement of property developers in the planning departments of London council), Ben Adams Architects (which has been complicit in the conversion through permitted development of office space into slum housing), Peynore and Prasad Architects and White Arkitekter. As you can imagine, our reception was a little frosty.
The CLOUD design research project subsequently settled on the Upton Gardens redevelopment in Newham as a case study in how to design and build better than Barratt Developments PLC. In response, ASH suggested that, rather than look at alternatives to a development that had received planning permission from Newham Labour council to build its mix of half a million-pound market sale and shared ownership properties in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in London, it would be useful to place the Bartlett’s skills in the service of a project in which there is still some hope of building housing that meets local need and incomes.
Professor Murray agreed, and in October 2019 he invited ASH to present to a housing design research workshop at the Bartlett School of Architecture on the St. Raphael’s estate in Brent, which is threatened with demolition by the Labour council, and whose campaign ASH has been advising since April 2019. These are the slides of that presentation.
Architects for Social Housing