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Social Housing: The Latest Architecture and News

Powerhouse Company Designs Waterfront Working and Living Complex in Amsterdam

Powerhouse Company has revealed a new design for THIS., a new mixed-use development in Amsterdam’s North District. Overlooking the waterfront of the IJ river, the complex offers the necessary amenities for both working and living in an area close to the city center. The ensemble includes a new office building, two waterfront private sector residential buildings, and two social housing blocks containing a total of 2017 homes. A Hidden Garden, designed by Delva Landscape Architecture and Urbanism, connects the residential and office buildings, creating a space for leisure and social activities.

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The Commons: Dissecting Open-Source Design

In New Mexico, irrigation channels that have been in continuous operation for three centuries replenish and nourish the wetlands of the American Southwest. These channels are known as Acequias – communally managed water systems built on democratic tradition. Members of the community own water rights, who then elect a three-person team to oversee the channels. In Cairo and Barcelona, Tahrir Square and Plaza de Catalunya have acted as important sites for voicing political dissatisfaction. The Tahrir Square protests of 2011, for instance, resulted in the eventual toppling of an almost 30-year-old government.

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Stefano Boeri Architetti Releases Video Documentary on the First Vertical Forest in Social Housing

Seven years after the inauguration of Bosco Verticale in Milan, Stefano Boeri Architetti presented a video documentary of Trudo Tower, the first Vertical Forest in social housing. The 19-storey residential tower, which is built in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, features hundreds of various species on each of its four facades, with 125 affordable apartments that accommodate low-income residents. The miniseries consists of 3 episodes that explore how "living in contact with trees and greenery - and enjoying their advantages - is not the prerogative of rich people but could well become a possible choice for millions of citizens around the world.”

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MAIO Designs 40 Hierarchyless-Spaces, Social Housing Units in Barcelona

MAIO is currently building a five-story building with 40 social housing units in the Sant Feliu de Llobregat district, Barcelona. The project design urban connectivity, social equity, and sustainability. As the winner of a two-phase competition, the building will house hierarchyless, generic, flexible spaces to fit the inhabitants' needs.

The Evolution of the House Plan in the United States: Post-war Era

Following the Second World War, United States veterans and citizens were seeking a fresh start, a rightful place to live out their modern American dream. With a significant housing shortage looming around and fast-growing families, solutions had to be found to provide equitable living means for all. The development of new construction techniques and propagation of easy building materials promised an age of prosperity.

Contemporary Social Housing in China: Playing with the Constraints

Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, predicts in her co-authored book “The Quito Papers and the New Urban Agendathat, in the future cities will become our crucial battlefield as we continue to fight against gentrification and growing degree of isolation in our communities. Sassen argues that, “Cities should be an inclusive space for both the affluent and the poor. Nevertheless, in reality our cities never achieved equality for all, because our cities were never designed that way. Still cities ought not to be a place that tolerates inequality or injustice”.

We Already Have Viable Models for Quality Affordable Housing

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

In this week's reprint, author Walter Jaegerhaus explores the U.S. housing challenge, drawing a timeline of the evolution of different architectural solutions, from around the world. Seeking to "inspire designers today to create new housing options", and hoping "that the U.S can again embrace its experimental origins and try out new ideas and methods", the article highlights examples from Europe and the Americas.

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Lacaton & Vassal’s Transformation of 530 Dwellings Through the Lens of Laurian Ghinitoiu

Renowned photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared with ArchDaily a series of photos of one of the most influential projects of recent Pritzker Laureates, Anne Lacaton, and Jean-Philippe Vassal. The Transformation of the 530 dwellings in Bordeaux, 3 modernist residential buildings, reflect Lacaton & Vassal's sensitivity towards understanding existing structures. It also highlights how with minimal interventions, radical changes can be made to the habitability and usability of a modernist building -knowing that in Europe, the majority of these structures have ended up being demolished-. This approach was enough to select this transformation as the winner of the EU Mies 2019 Award, for the best contemporary architecture in Europe.

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Corviale, a One-Kilometer Residential Complex in Rome

The Corviale housing complex, located in the south-western periphery of Rome, was designed in the 1970s as a solution to the growing number of dormitory districts in the Roman suburbs, caused by the significant population increase between the 1950s and 1970s - when the population grew from approximately 1.6 million to 2.7 million inhabitants - followed by suburban sprawl.

The project, also known as Serpentone because of its huge proportions, was developed by a team of architects under the leadership of Mario Fiorentino between 1972 and 1974. Construction took place between 1973 and 1982, but the original plan to use the fourth floor of the main building for commercial uses, services, and common areas, was dropped because the contractor went bankrupt. The floor was eventually taken over by informal settlements, and this event is considered to be the root of the problems with this emblematic project in the history of housing in Italy.

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