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‘Revolutionary Low Rise – Informing London’s Suburban Densification’

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Published in October 2019 and authored by Mike Althorpe and Abigail Batchelor, ‘Revolutionary Low Rise’ explores lessons for London’s future growth from nine radical low rise-high density case studies (LRHD) in the UK, USA and Europe.

Challenging the orthodoxy of high-rise towers and seeking out a more humane form of urbanism, LRHD was embraced by many architects working in both public and private practice from the 1960s onwards and it heralded an intense period of experimentation in dwelling form and layout. The UK led the way, offering alternative visions for urban living, which inspired a generation of projects across the world.

Supported by the RIBA Research Fund and Karakusevic Carson Architects, the publication has been generated in response to emerging changes introduced as part of the draft London plan’s evaluation in Public (EIP), which has put a new focus on the suburbs of outer London, uncouples development from numeric PTAL guidance and encourages local authorities to optimise densities rather than simply maximise. 

With new detailed drawings and exclusive resident interviews, essays and accounts, ‘Revolutionary Low Rise’ seeks to make residential density, and our understanding of it, accessible and creates new guidance, while offering new insights and observations on an important era of architectural production and practice.

‘Revolutionary Low Rise – Informing London’s Suburban Densification’ was launched on 7 October at an event at The Barbican hosted by The Architecture Foundation, as part of their ‘Architecture on Stage’ series.

To view the publication online: Revolutionary Low Rise 2019.pdf