In a recent article for The Observer, Rowan Moore discusses what he describes as the "quiet revolution in British housing." In compiling a list of practices and collectives from the recent past and present, he has created a compendium of people and organisations who he believes are creating exemplary dwellings in the UK. Noting that the British housing stock is not necessarily in the best shape (a symptom of the 1970s), Moore ultimately offers an optimistic message tinged with words of caution.
Once upon a time new housing in Britain was terrible. Engendered by the fearful coupling of utopian architectural fanatics and of bureaucratic automata in local authorities, it was soulless, alienating, malfunctioning and often damp. Such at least is the conventional narrative which, if it overlooks many beautiful and conscientious works now being rediscovered, still contains a portion of truth. [...]
Now, if you look carefully and avert your gaze from large quantities of obvious junk, it is possible to see that some new housing is, finally, not terrible. These glimmers of progress are partly due to the combination of the building industry and of regulations which, not always in perfect harmony with each other, have (touch wood) made homes warmer, drier, more accessible to the disabled, easier to maintain and sometimes better dimensioned than they have been in the recent past.
Read the article in full here.