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When "Designer" Social Housing Goes Wrong: The Failures of Winnipeg's Center Village Project

When "Designer" Social Housing Goes Wrong: The Failures of Winnipeg's Center Village Project
When "Designer" Social Housing Goes Wrong: The Failures of Winnipeg's Center Village Project, Centre Village / 5468796 Architecture + Cohlmeyer Architecture Limited. Image © James Brittain Photography
Centre Village / 5468796 Architecture + Cohlmeyer Architecture Limited. Image © James Brittain Photography

The challenges of designing social housing are complex. As Martha Thorne recently told the Guardian, "It’s not enough to make community space and say, ‘People are going to see each other’... Architects really have to understand the context from the client – the cultural context, to the bigger context, to the economics, to the future of the residents who’ll live there.” Speaking about Winnipeg's well intentioned Centre Village project designed by 5468796 Architecture, Thorne believes many of these challenges are new to architects.  

Just five years old, Center Village was designed as a community-oriented micro village for 25 families in one of Canada's poorest urban areas. Since its establishment, the complex has become a hot bed for crime; courtyards are being used by vagrants as shelter from police, while large families try to make a life within the cramp quarters of each home.

“Maybe we’re too idealistic," said Colin Neufeld, a partner at 5468796. Read the complete story and learn more about the challenges of "designer" social housing here on the Guardian

Centre Village / 5468796 Architecture + Cohlmeyer Architecture Limited

Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "When "Designer" Social Housing Goes Wrong: The Failures of Winnipeg's Center Village Project" 05 Jan 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/779899/when-designer-social-housing-goes-wrong-the-failures-of-winnipegs-center-village-project/>