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‘Social Housing – Definitions and Design Exemplars’

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Published in April 2017 and co-authored by Paul Karakusevic and Abigail Batchelor for RIBA Publishing, the book explores the best new public housing at a pivotal time for the sector.

Featuring 24 exemplary projects from across the UK and Europe, it analyses and explores new typologies, emerging design approaches and refurbishment strategies that together offer a challenge to housing professionals to rethink how we build and highlights the vital role of low cost housing in the life of our cities.

Across Europe there is no common definition of ‘social housing’ and so the publication features a diverse mix of public projects led by local authorities, philanthropic schemes led by charities and collective schemes led by residents. Common to them all however, is the idea that there are and can be alternatives to a purely market-orientated system of provision and it is here, amidst the variety of alternative forms both new and old, that the publication places itself.

Alongside the case studies the book also includes a series of exclusive interviews and testimonials with influencers from across the social housing sector including a historical context interview by celebrated post-war architect and Royal Gold Medallist Neave Brown, the GLA’s Finn Williams, Anne Lacaton from Lacaton & Vassal and Professor Mark Brearley from London Metropolitan University.

Social Housing was the outcome of two years’ studio research and was produced in order to raise awareness, champion great architecture, client-side processes and provides meaningful case studies so that students and housing professionals of all kinds might think differently and public housing standards can be raised.

The publication was launched by an accompanying exhibition of the same name hosted at the RIBA, in London between April – May 2017.