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Housing Crisis: The Latest Architecture and News

How Recycling Existing Buildings Could Solve the Urban Housing Crisis in the United States

Newly built houses, with their sizable carbon footprints, don’t just contribute to climate change. For many Americans, they’re also too expensive—a bitter irony in cities rife with vacant buildings and record evictions.

Given the urgency of both issues, projects that retrofit livable housing into existing low-carbon shells (the initial embodied carbon was spent long ago) might be worth a closer look. We searched for them and came across a handful that promise a cure for housing insecurity and excessive greenhouse gas emissions.

City of Los Angeles Launches $100,000 Low-Rise Housing Competition

The City of Los Angeles has launched a $100,000 housing design challenge for low-rise developments. The competition asks architects and landscape architects to imagine "appealing and sustainable" models of low-rise, multi-unit housing. Organized by the Mayor’s Office and Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne, the initiative aims to create new paths to home-ownership and housing affordability in Los Angeles.

Open Air: New Ways We Can Live Together in Nature

“We need a new spatial contract." This is the call of Hashim Sarkis, curator of the Venice Biennale 2021, as an invitation for architects to imagine new spaces in which we can live together. Between a move towards urban flight and global housing crises, the growth of more low-rise, dense developments may provide an answer in the countryside. Turning away from single family homes in rural areas and suburbs, modern housing projects are exploring new models of shared living in nature.

© Shu He© HG Esch© Christian Wöckinger© Dio Guna Putra+ 13

Urban Visions: How India is Shaping the Future of Housing

India is rethinking the future of housing through new typologies. Defined by historical and cultural influences, the country's contemporary architecture centers on discussions of how best to modernize. Built over millennia, India's housing projects are made to address diverse scales, programs and functions. Exploring a revitalized urban landscape, these modern housing projects have begun to set a new tone for the future.

© Hemant Patil© Carlos Chen© Umang Shah© Shamanth Patil+ 10

Two Billion New Homes to be Created in the Next 80 Years

It is an inevitable truth that the world population is growing exponentially. Higher numbers can only lead to a higher demand for resources, food, and housing. By the year 2100, the 7.6 billion people currently living on earth will reach, according to the UN, a whopping 11.2 billion.

This increase can only mean that the need to accommodate these people will become an urgent priority, innovating and shifting from the household system that is present nowadays. Soon enough this will be a global pressing issue.

As London's Housing Crisis Deepens, a Provocative Proposal Suggests the Solution Rests with the Queen

"The rooms are awash with sparkling candelabra, sumptuous carpets, marble columns, sculptures, and expensive artworks,” says Benedikt Hartl, co-founder of Opposite Office of Buckingham Palace. The 775-room, 79-bathroom, 828,821 square foot residence has been home to Britain’s royalty since the 1830s. And, if Opposite Office’s recent Affordable Palace proposal were to go through, could also be home to you.

Adjaye Associates Among Team of Britain's Top Designers Commissioned by Startup to Help Solve the UK's Housing Crisis

A new property startup named Cube Haus is looking to alter the existing housing market, offering high-value homes at reasonable prices "that can be configured to fit small and awkward urban sites." To do this, Cube Haus is commissioning a team of Britain's top architects and designers: Adjaye Associates, Faye Toogood, Carl Turner Architects and Skene Catling de la Peña. The team will create a series of customizable modular homes with a focus on outstanding design.

Design by Adjaye Associates. Image © Edit.rsDesign by Faye Toogood. Image © Edit.rsDesign by Faye Toogood. Image © Edit.rsDesign by Skene Catling de la Peña. Image © Edit.rs+ 13

Could This Micro Dwelling in Disguise Help Solve the Housing Crisis?

London’s first Antepavillion officially opened to the public last weekend, kicking off an annual series of experimental structures set to explore alternative ways of living in the city. Designed and built by emerging studio PUP Architects, the proposal beat out 128 other entries as the winner of a competition held by the Architecture Foundation. Calling for proposals that engaged with issues of sustainability and recycling, PUP's design, dubbed H-VAC is built using prefab elements made in-house by a team of volunteers. The pavilion's tongue-in-cheek appearance resembling an air duct is a playful subversion of planning legislation, exploiting loopholes for mechanical rooftop equipment to be built without planning permission.

© Jim Stephenson© Jim Stephenson© Jim Stephenson© Jim Stephenson+ 43

The World's Most Expensive Cities in 2017 (And Why They Are So Expensive)

As anyone who has recently attempted apartment-hunting in a major urban area will know, reasonably-priced housing can be difficult to come by for many and salaries don’t always seem to match the cost of living. This gap is contributing to housing crises in developed and developing countries worldwide. People are simply being priced out of cities, where housing has become a commodity instead of a basic human right. Financial speculation and states’ support of financial markets in a way that makes housing unaffordable has created an unsustainable global housing crisis.

Earlier this year the 13th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey was released for 2017, revealing that the number of “severely unaffordable” major housing markets rose from 26 to 29 this year; the problem is getting worse. The study evaluates 406 metropolitan housing markets in nine of the world's major economies and uses the “median multiple” approach to determine affordability. By dividing the median house price by the median household income of an area, this method is meant to be a summary of “middle-income housing affordability.”

Forget Treehouses - Cliffhouses are the Future

In major cities around the world, buildable land is at a premium. At the same time, a continued trend of urban migration has led to a shortage of houses, inspiring a wealth of innovative solutions from architects and designers. Swedish firm Manofactory have literally taken housing solutions to a new level, questioning why we need to build at ground level at all.

Many animals, including birds, build their nests in trees, under roof tiles or in rock crevices above the ground. Humans already build simple nesting boxes for birds to live in, causing Manofactory to question why we can’t build nesting boxes for ourselves – a simple house with several rooms, windows, and climate protection. Pointing to the numerous cliff walls in cities across northern Scandinavia and elsewhere, Manofactory have designed the Nestinbox – a small wooden house with a steel structure to be mounted on sheer cliff faces.

Nestinbox takes inspiration from birdhouses to provide an innovative solution to tackle housing crises. Image Courtesy of ManofactoryAn interior arranged around three floors provides compact yet functional living. Image Courtesy of ManofactoryThe facade is clad in horizontal timber to reduce perceived building height. Image Courtesy of ManofactoryOne elevation of the Nestinbox can be free of windows, allowing for combinations of several units. Image Courtesy of Manofactory+ 6