The Jane Drew Prize for Architecture 2024 and the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize for Contribution to Architecture 2024 have been awarded to Polish-French architect Iwona Buczkowska and American political activist and author Angela Davis, respectively. Honoring their work and commitment to their practices, the awards highlight their efforts to raise the profile of women in architecture. The Jane Drew Prize celebrates Buczkowska’s innovative approach to social housing and public buildings in France. Meanwhile, the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize recognizes Angela Davis’s leadership in the movement to abolish the prison system.
Social Housing: The Latest Architecture and News
MVRDV and LOLA Landscape Architects have just revealed the new development of “Grüne Mitte” in Düsseldorf, Germany. Centered around open communication, negotiation, and compromise, the project aims to introduce 500 new apartments and community spaces to enhance the neighborhood. Approximately 50% of the scheme is designated as social or affordable housing, which was designed in participatory processes with the residents.
The Climat de France is a French colonial social housing project in Algeria designed by Fernand Pouillon and currently renamed Oued Koriche. Located approximately 8km west of the country’s capital, Algiers, it was built from 1954 to 1957, right in the middle of the Algerian War of Independence. The project has several buildings with different scales. Its most prominent structure is a large rectangular building that houses 3000 dwellings, along with a spacious interior square similar to a Roman forum and exterior windows inspired by the mosaics found in Islamic architecture.
This social housing scheme has a complex history, involving the integration of Algerians into the French lifestyle, the use of modern architecture to challenge traditional Muslim ways of living, and the transformation of its collective square into a site of protest and rebellion.
Housing is a fundamental aspect of architecture, providing shelter, which is essential for everyone. In urban environments, addressing the housing challenge is both urgent and complex. Social housing initiatives aim to provide a substantial portion of the population with access to this fundamental architectural concept: a home.
When it comes to architecture, scale is inevitably mentioned for graphic and two-dimensional representation of the built area, land size, and city extension. Architecture is a grand discipline with robust constructions and large areas, but the field of action is vast, encompassing "smaller" scales: essential housing, restricted land, and small cities.
Social Housing is a principal element for a more democratic city. These housing structures provide decent dwellings for all citizens in urban areas and connect them to the rest of the city and its services.
Unfortunately, in many countries, the term "Social Housing" still has a negative connotation. It is often seen as a project that seeks to build the largest number of units with cheap materials, and little-to-no concern for the quality of life of its residents. Often times, it is designed for monetary reasons, as opposed to a project that serves the city and its people. Although this fact is recurrent, there are several examples that portray the opposite, in which architects manifest their political point of view through exceptional projects with innovative solutions that improve the urban experience.
Renée Gailhoustet, French architect, pioneer of social housing, and winner of the 2022 Royal Academy Architecture Prize, has passed away aged 93. As announced by the Royal Academy, she passed away in her home in Le Liégat, Ivry-sur-Seine, one of her best-known projects, which was completed in 1982. Throughout her career, stretching back to the 1960s, Renée Gailhoustet was a strong advocate for social housing, exemplifying through her work a vision of generous housing in harmony with their urban environments.
On Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable Cities: In Conversation with the Winners of the UIA 2030 Award
The first edition of the UIA 2030 Award celebrated projects that contribute to the delivery of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Located in Germany, Hong Kong, Argentina, Bangladesh, and China, the winning interventions were announced during the eleventh session of the World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland. Organized by the International Union of Architects (UIA), together with the UN-HABITAT, the award program gathered 125 submissions in 40 countries.
ArchDaily had the chance to talk to the winners behind the acclaimed architecture, to discuss furthermore the interventions and certain specificities of each and every project. In addition, the winning teams shared their upcoming and ongoing architectural endeavors as well as their point of view on the importance of architects engaging with the Sustainable Development Goals.
Winners of the UIA 2030 Award Announced: Acknowledging Architects' Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals
Today, at the eleventh session of the World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland, the International Union of Architects (UIA), together with the UN-HABITAT, have announced the laureates of the UIA 2030 Award. Seeking to acknowledge the contributions of architects to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and New Urban Agenda through built interventions that demonstrate design quality and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this first edition of a biennial awards program, selected winning projects from Germany, Hong Kong, Argentina, Bangladesh, and China, from 125 submitted projects in 40 countries.
Organized under six categories: Open Category, Improving Energy Efficiency, Adequate, Safe & Affordable Housing, Participatory, Land-Use Efficient & Inclusive Planning, Access to Green & Public Space, and Utilizing Local Materials, the jurors picked a winner per section, yet were unable to identify an overall winner in the open category and chose instead to recognize six projects as Highly Commended, honoring in total 5 laureates and 15 commendations.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 Agenda” that, 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”.