Mixing old and new typologies
The project focuses on two groups: local communities at risk from radical urban renewal and vulnerable to displacement, and private renters who cannot access home ownership in the current crisis, from young professionals on low incomes to other more vulnerable and mobile city dwellers.
A missing typology of new-build shared housing is proposed to meet the demand of renters in the immediate term, whilst also accommodating larger family homes within a framework that focuses on quality of place. The study explores how different types of people can be mixed in a development rather than creating a mono-tenure “ghetto”.
Currently, the private rental market is unregulated in terms of space standards. Intimate Infrastructures proposes new, mass-produced, modular “shared houses” as standardised components, to ensure minimum space standard levels, while speeding up delivery and reducing construction costs.
The shared house modules are low-cost, robust shell spaces, which can be finished by inhabitants according to their means. This new model could also provide a radical approach to giving access to property and security by allowing for micro units of space to be owned too, such as a single bedroom.
London street life
Permanent infrastructure is provided at ground level in the form of courtyards and owner-occupied townhouses, based on the London pattern of squares, and aims to embed the importance of street-life into areas undergoing change. The townhouse typology is an updated version of the traditional London terrace, proven to be a highly resilient and adaptable model in the city fabric. The spatial configuration responds to the changing nature of family structures and work patterns, for instance the increase in adult children returning to the family home in the face of the housing crisis.