Housing: how architects can design for wellbeing and equality



good evening everyone my name is Harriet and I work on the program for the built environment trust here at the building Center and I'm delighted to welcome you all to tonight's event housing how architects can design for well-being and equality and this was part of the making well-being exhibition and event series taking place here until the end of January please note that tonight's event is being live streamed and filmed and it will be shared online in the coming weeks so please make sure that your phones are switched to silent and in case of emergency please exit through the three doors at the back and make your way up the stairs to leave the building so I'll now hand over to our chair for the evening peg Ross who is professor of architecture and philosophy at the varlet School of Architecture University College London and she is co-author of equal by design a documentary that discusses themes of equality well-being and the UK housing crisis so thank you peg now I'll hand over to each of them who will speak in turn for 15 minutes before we have half an hour for conversation and discussion with you afterwards so the first of our speakers is Peter Barbour Peter Barbour runs practice of his name with his colleagues who are very lively and various and Peter is an architect he trained with Richard Rodgers and also and also is a lecturer oh he has an academic professional career as well as his own practice and teachers currently at the University of Westminster Peter has a great expertise in speaking publicly about his work and has talked at many institutions including the RBA the architectural league in New York and many universities in the UK Europe and also overseas he's also like the other speakers I think significant because of his contribution to policy and to discussions about the practice of architecture in a civic and in a society that is socially aware and here this means that he's been part of the government's project to lead discussion on designing for better spaces the team of other built environment professionals and his advisor to English partnerships of the urban design compendium our second speaker is Sarah will was worth Sarah founded her practice in 1994 and this is a practice that you may know is very well respected with its expertise around sustainable design and particularly using alternative low-energy materials Sarah also has a very distinguished career in academia and has been professor of architecture at the University of Sheffield from 1999 to 2016 which included her founding the PhD by design in 2002 and early form of this qualification for architects and her academic work is very much blended with insights and consideration about life and living projects particularly the way in which she works with her clients and the notion of the client practice being very very much in hand-in-hand with each other and this was undertaken particularly in her last academic project which was called dwell and she'll be talking I think a little bit about dwell tonight it's designing for well-being environments for later life and this was a project where she worked with the University of Sheffield and Scheffel Council and the design of houses and neighborhoods for older people and Sarah's work as you will also know is featured in the straw bale house and also features in her work for schools including the sandal Magnus School in Wakefield the third final speaker is Alex Ely and Alex is an architect and town planner who founded his practice may architects in 2001 and Alex also has a very distinguished reputation for innovative and excellence in housing and in public design programs and also in the way in which he informs and aids governments and policy thinking he's responsible for schemes which have been award-winning for cultural buildings for healthcare for educational projects and also has gained prizes from k-band from the London housing design guide he's also an advocate a design advocate for the mayor's office for cabe's built environment expert and is a member of the GLA and the ll DC review panel and also a member of their RI be a housing policy group I'm very pleased to welcome all three so I'm going to hand over to Peter to speak first right thanks peg and thanks for the invite thanks for the give me the opportunity to come and talk well being equality well being is quite a hard word to pin down it's quite a nebulous it's good it's kind of catch-all phrase so I thought it'd be interesting to push the discussion to to sort of extremes in that regard for me them architecture is all about politics and and can we dim these at all just a little bit and it seemed to me that it being supposed to think about the sort of kind of macro the structural the big ideas and and and structural issues and the political issues which surround an idea like well-being and and then to take it to the other extreme and to think so so in the first is you know the sort of grand Marxist kind of narrative and then down to you know the my new tie of architecture much closer to michel de certeau that you know that everyday things small rituals in kind of in our life within buildings with our environment so we start with the kind of big picture and i think any discussion about well-being the notion of the maximum amount of happiness for the max amount of people has to think about the big political issues the mismanagement of land economy by successive governments of both complexions which lead to a situation in which in london one of the richest cities the world has ever known there are a hundred and seventy thousand people who are homeless according to Christ 150 families are losing their homes every day and this situation is a question of government policy but it's also a matter of our culture the way we are so heavily embedded in a sort of neo liberal culture neoliberal economy which allows the swirling phantasmagoria of money to just sort of take resources wherever it will you know global capital kind of swishing around and and and and the outcome of that is this in the postwar period when our economy was much more heavily planned controlled even we were building a hundred and fifty thousand home social homes each year by 1975 before Margaret Thatcher had away nearly half the population of this country lived in social housing a mass has been diminished every year since then so that we now have a situation like this and David Cameron in the final months of his of his prime ministership saying post-war estates across Britain are ripe for redevelopment we will sweep away the planning blockages take steps to reduce political and reputational risk for projects key decision-makers and investors I believe that together we can tear down anything in our way that in contrast to the incredible vision of the post-war Labour government so that we now have this a situation in which great areas of our city are being laid waste to this kind of crap 20,000 homes are empty the commodification of housing the communication of space in the city you know housing property in general seen as some kind of investment vehicle rather than as a basic and vital infrastructure we're quite happy to sweep away great areas of countryside foot for the for transport infrastructure and things like that and we think for the for the greater good but we cannot find it in our hearts to see housing the same way so that we get this this is a photograph taken in the subway a few minutes walk from Apsley house and Buckingham Palace and in my mind this is a scandal these are a series of photographs taken by homeless people of their own environment so this is somebody's living room and this is somebody's bedroom and we all share responsibility for this we live in a democracy we all have the right to vote and we all have the right to protest and so this is something that we all share responsibility for by contrast this is a flat which costs 75 million pounds and this is somebody else's bedroom so that's what I think about equality and so yeah and that's what I think about the sort of big political picture which for me is as much about architecture as the next bit which I'm going to talk about which is a more conventional and now our definition of architecture and for those of you seen me talk before talk before I apologize of appologize but I don't in a way because I think this quote is useful and helpful important in helping us to think about the relationship between people and architecture the relations between culture and space because in the one hand we build our cities we design our buildings and we create them and we make decisions about how they should be laid out and formed but then they sort of come back and impact on us you know we create our architecture we design our cities but then they come back and impact us so it's a complex reciprocal relationship which exists between people and architecture and it's and it's described very beautifully in this quote from Walter Benjamin the great Marxist critic and culture and Elliott earnest in his book one way street 1924 he's describing a street scene in Naples and in it he sort of he captures very beautifully the idea of architecture is permeated by by people and brought to life by the activity of people and I suppose in thinking about well being in architecture and trying to design an architecture which has is mindful of the impact it will have on people I aya always have this idea in my mind so he says this and so imagine were in a street in in Naples and the passion for improvisation which demands that space and opportunity be at any price preserved buildings are used as a popular stage they're all divided into innumerable simultaneously animated theaters balcony courtyard windows gateway staircase roof are at the same time stages and boxes he goes on to say as porous as the stone is the architecture buildings and action interpenetrating the courtyards arcades and stairways in everything they preserve the scope to become a theater of new unforseen constellations the stamp of the definitive is avoided no situation appears intended forever so in his description of this street he's sort of collapsing architecture and people into one thing and he's capturing something of the theatrical scene which can happen in space and so you know we're known for doing housing work but in my mind as important as the housing is the space between the housing and in a city like London 70% of all of buildings our houses or housing so when we design housing at any scale we're designing designing pieces of urbanism and for me the strip the street is the kind of basic building block of the city and the thing that it structures kind of a lot of our housing work and the idea that a space like this which belongs to everybody and it belongs to no one is a great leveler it brings people of different social backgrounds different cultural groups different ages into a space and a well designed so it kind of compresses that kind of social activity into a situation where we're brought together in some kind of equal setting and and are visible to one another and and and all that stuff so this is Donnybrook it's our first larger housing scheme okay fifty units still but we won it by saying this scheme is a celebration of the public social life of the street so it's an idea about the potential for the street to create this kind of levelling kind of effect and and the potential of a street and and and public space to contribute to the well-being of people to the happiness of people and to start to encourage I don't think architecture has a causal relationship on behavior but I think you can encourage and make certain sorts of behavior possible and street based housing with a square at the intersection is is is in my mind a great kind of way of thinking about that a lot of so the next series of photographs are pictures of images of projects not just our own but polices of city that I admire where there is evidence of kind of social activity and of people taking control of their environment which in my mind is a sort of a kind of an indicator of kind of a kind of that this but places are kind of working and that kind of well-being is being kind of created so some roof terraces which were precedent for the work we did at Donnybrook Donnybrook itself with the streets am I gonna has that work well the streets and the intersection of the public square and again you know water Benjamin would like this wouldn't he the sort of evidence of people taking control of the space breathing life into you know what architecture is inanimate isn't it it's abstract and it really only becomes meaningful when these sorts of things start to happen to shop appearing on the street corner courtyards being lived in and so these you can't predict what's going to happen when you make a building but you kind of hope that people will feel a connection with the spaces that they're moving into with the streets that they're occupying I know for instance that this is a little window that we created on a half landing of a staircase in one of the units at Donnybrook and I know that the little girl who grew up there did her homework sitting on the step halfway up the stairs looking out of the window over the street this is a project in the East End in Stepney where we were asked to look at making buildings on the site here and it seemed to us that the benefit to that could be a benefit to all of the people not just the new residents in housing here but the existing residents could be fantastic if we created a garden which was shared by all those people so lots of our projects have kind of courtyards and and or emphasis on the space between buildings and the idea that this is an encouragement to kind of social activity of bringing people together so the garden that Hannibal road connects existing residents and their gardens with the new residents of the eight or ten or whatever it is houses along here and lovely to go back again and find people kind of taking control of that environment as an indicate some kind of indicator of their enjoyment of it and their happiness with it this is a project up in in down in Peckham and again our idea of a courtyard the possible sort of convivial environment which might emerge this was a series of different agencies operating out of this building who need on behalf of homeless people and disadvantaged people who needed to be talking to each other and it seemed to me that that might happen if we could create a courtyard rather than a corridor a courtyard at the center of the project and so you know lovely events and scenes unfolding in that space and you know without the inspiration of Benjamin and and and and this kind of notion of the raesha people in architecture that that space might not have occurred to me in that project at Grant Park a little it sort of arcade which again in a big building which is you know essentially is about the creation of wealth for our client in the making of housing we were able to persuade them to create this colonnade at the ground floor which is kind of public spirited and civic and its intent and here you know small things you only just quickly go and quote michel de certeau if i can find it and he's taking it from the big macro where we started the absolute micro and in the practice of everyday life 1974 he says spaces practice place but space is practiced place every day narrative a word caught in the ambiguity of actualization on streets in apartments in the most intimate of domestic habits and out like so so i really love that idea and it makes me think about things like spaces like this at the front of a house that if you create a space like that you know what what might happen there it's a south-facing facade of a social housing project we just completed recently in stratford before it was injustice the instance after it's finished and you know the realization that sometimes at the front of a house wonderful things can happen where people take control of the space where the street I'm gonna finish with a few slides of Holmes Road which is the the project which featured most prominently for us in pegs film and it's a homeless project in Kentish Town I guess why do we need you know if the back row stuff was dealt with we wouldn't mean any homeless projects none of us should be needing to design homeless projects that be housed there should be houses for everybody in a wealthy country like ours but that's not the case and so this is Camden Council it's an old hostel fronting Holmes Road with a very deep plan at the back reasonably distinguished late Victorian Edwardian building at the front and rather humdrum buildings at the back so we conceived of something else for the rear part of the part of the part of the site so that's the building the front and typically homeless projects are on corridors and again just sort of attracting other what the words that well-being springs to mind so how how can a bunch of people who have mental health problems drug issues many of them some of them alcohol problems very troubled backgrounds lots of them among the most sort of troubled people in our society how can that be a good way of getting to their to their room so we wandered about another possibility and we started looking at arms houses as being a much more generous and hopeful way of housing people you know mindful of their sort of mental state and and what might be a better way of creating a you know positive environment for them and and so I did that drawing and so there's the hostel the front of the project and we created a garden or the idea is we're creating a garden which is flanked by two rows many terraced houses cottages I hate the word micro homes it's really prevalent at the moment it kind of tends the things that are sought functionalists and love it's kind of so little cottages they're about that wide and they're two storeys high and the idea is that there's a little garden at the centre of this project where people could go and work and it would have been an enticement and encouragement from them out of the isolation of their rooms into a space where they they would be a therapeutic program going on of gardening which people would be open to be involved with and that and Camden went for it absolutely Bristol at Camden Council we're talking about it with Sarah before the before that before this event that still at Camden there is in areas are sort of the vestiges of a kind of welfare state ideology you know it with certain people and and and so there is with this guy called Brian Matthews who commissioned this project so when I went to see them with this drawing and the designer said we imagine a group of residents working with the gardener to create and maintain an intensely planted and beautiful garden they've been apple tree or two potatoes green veg soft fruit herbs or green house a potting shed in a sunny spot to sit and rest we think there ought to be a little room or shed for private chats and counseling the garden creates a homely domestic atmosphere in the hostel it will give participating residents and interest and an outlet for their energy it will help to foster a sense of belonging self-worth and empowerment amongst residents it will provide people with an opportunity to develop gardening skills and encourage them to think about nutrition so you know there it is so each one a little stable door under a sort undulating roof main hostel upfront and very sort of enclosed little piece of paradise hopefully for them and and each of these a little house a living area at the front steps up onto a mezzanine at the back underneath and arcaded the the the arched roof so there it is don't really have time for the detail and I just leave you with that one you know if if this is a proposal to our alternative proposal for housing at the Mount Pleasant the contested Mount Pleasant site in my mind it should be social housing we've got enough housing for wealthy people in the center of London it should never have been sold the pits a bit belong to us two years ago the post office and this should never been sold it should been developed for social housing and in this proposal there's a series of twitten Zoar alleyways which crisscross the site street based courtyard housing which gets the same number of units as the high-rise proposal which will be built okay thank you very much make a little kind of essay around the ideas of well-being and I'm going to sort of tag it by unpacking the project which is on display upstairs which is our Pentonville project that was a self initiated and self funded project that we did for the London festival of architecture in June and one of the reasons that we did this was because our office it's a sort of local project to our office and our office sits halfway between Holloway prison on one side and Pentonville on the other so it's kind of in our backyard and what's happening is that the Ministry of Justice has decided to sell off its inner-city prisoners stage in order that they can get the money to build super prisons out in the sticks and as some of you may know Holloway prison has already been closed down and the residents there have been moved out two alternative prisons and one of the reasons they can do that is because women's prisons are not as full as men's prisons so there is excess capacity in other women's prisons Pentonville might follow it's been George Osborne said it would but one of the problems about Pentonville is that it has a lot of listed buildings it being one of the model prisons from the 1840s and so developers are less interest in it and it does pose problems about how to deal with the historic fabric but so we thought it might be really interesting to speculate what might happen should the Pentonville prison site be sold and try and show how architects can actually contribute to the debate about what making a a neighborhood for wellbeing of the local population could actually look like and one of the things that I feel very strongly about as an architect is that very often the architect has brought on board after all decisions about density finance and planning have been made by other people so on the holloway site for example isn't an council have already written a planning brief before anyone else is involved and their marketing the site already and what we thought is well before it any of that even happens it would be really interesting to speculate on what a place for well-being on the Pentonville prison site might be and one of the reasons it's particularly interesting sorry about this preamble I will get around to talking it when there is this particularly interesting is because there are so many issues around incarceration are not being solved by sending people to prison and one of the things that a well-designed neighborhood can do is actually to prevent those kinds of things happening so by weighing up in the balance a good environment as opposed to a dysfunctional bad environment perhaps we can help to solve some of the problems which have become really intractable in our society so a little bit of background about the Pentonville site and one of the interesting things about it is I mean these are three areas of its timeline and one of the interesting things is that it appears as this model prison the K shaped prison in plan at the era of the the point when London is getting industrialized so it appears just almost exactly the same time as the railways and also the appearance of the meat market which is this sort of industrialized complex working through food which is here there and by 9:00 by 2017 obviously it's completely engulfed by the city and one of the interesting features about it is it's the local prison which means that lots of local people are going in and out of it and it's actually quite a contested site because it's desperately overcrowded and there have been murders and there have been suicides and the reason that a lot of people go to prison are quite complex but one of the sort of issues is actually who is a criminal and how are the police treating the local population leading to feelings of alienation and yeah well alienation by look by local people and in fact that slide on the right is a piece of graffiti that appeared on one of the hoardings of a site just opposite the prison which is currently being developed and it's already going up to about nine or ten storeys so it's very typical of the kind of developer led project which is beginning to invade even places like the Caledonian Road so one of the issues that we were looking at is you know what is going on that leads people to get sent time and time again into Pentonville prison and hang on gone too far and we were looking at issues of deprivation in the area I'm not going to read these stats but you can see that the darker red colors are where there's more deprivation and in fact it's the the bits of the typically the former industrial railway lands this ban here with a permit an estate down here which particularly deprived and one of the causes of going to prison are things like people not be able to get on the housing ladder not getting good jobs leaving school too early without qualifications and so on and so and of course the rising price house prices in Inner London is making it much worse so people are finding it more and more difficult to stay put where they were born so that's one thing also looking at well-being what do we mean by well-being and how can we think about the intersection of things like the physical environment with your health with your social life and your material resources and how to bring those together around a proposal where these things can actually all knit together so well being in Cali ward well that's another big issue because again in the area where you know where the prison is located this area is particularly short of all the amenities which are used in the social deprivation indices to indicate well-being and so what our design for the prison had to do is begin to address some of these issues about lack of opportunity lack of open space obesity healthy lifestyles nutrition access to open space so on and so on and so on so our proposal in a nutshell looked at a way of retaining prison structures but of sort of busting it apart and really refashioning it in a manner that could redeem the buildings well we still recall the history of the site and think about why we might not want to go back to an arrangement like the prison represents at the moment which incidentally are still being built so the one done in Thamesmead is a recent example of exactly the same prison type complex so what we've done is essentially the kind of big moves are we've kept the list of buildings which are these this cash ape although we've removed the central point which was actually the point where you concede all the way down and survey the prisoners so that's a kind of important move to replace the idea of surveillance by a single point of authority and give the space back to the public to the community we remove the buildings on the front that we kept the listed chapel and turn that into your community center with a radio station in it this is a series of live work units which have retail at the lower level these are flats there are conversions of these into houses and flats we've got a GP surgery a an education for cities that's a primary school this is a youth centre this is the memorial garden where lots of prisoners are currently still buried and then this is a range of housing which addresses these rather lower level units around the side so I'm going to unpack this a little bit for you so one of the things we are interested in is this idea of this kind of mixed community which has all sorts of opportunities for different kinds of living which have did that wrong older people up here above family units with the retail and the workshop space at the back live work here converted that prison at the base flats above there's the radio mast on top of the community hall and all of these publicly accessible open spaces but more or less traffic free and that's kind of based on some thinking that we did in our competition of a saw Island couple of years ago where we were literally a little island like the neighborhood in Pentonville was made into a kind of a new world which had which was on the sauce trans route but also you know reinvigorated the place by making a kind of place apart from the city but in the case of Pentonville actually the important things to sort of reconnect it with its hinterland and so we were looking at all these ways in which we could combine commerce and transport and ways of living and so on actually in this little island and look at it throughout the course of the year making sure that there was something going on at all times obviously my recent interest has been largely around the lives of older people not a little bit of self interest in that but that's the work of dwell and and obviously access to local shops and facilities is particularly crucial for all the people who may not be able to move very far or very fast and so this space in the centre has a number of Amin this is the edge of the educational facility here's an outdoor cinema on the edge of the community hall this is actually a garden and a cafe and there's space to do all sorts of things in there and I mean we were really inspired by a trip to Copenhagen recently where there's some really fantastic things like these fountains where kids are playing and around and it allows for bikes and buggies and all sorts of things happening there so that's partly what's going on in here it's a space for people to come together but the other thing is we've deconstructed the prison complex in here left one of the walls to make its kind of vertical garden but inscribe the space of the cells in these planting beds that go along the edge so although you keep the Vista you lose the building and we're really interested in the idea of the sort of productive landscape which we've got in our garden at stock orchard street and again this is Malmo where there's cafe in the middle of a fantastic productive garden which is actually in the public realm so we're really interested in that also in this idea of you know a range of living space for different kinds of people so there might be some live work here or one above another but there might also be just very large flats there they might there's actually no use class to cover live work but we think it's a really interesting idea and more and more people are doing it and perhaps that needs to get thought about and then what am I looking at here can't remember oh yeah different different housing typology so we've got yeah so yeah we've got family housing along the edge we've got flats here and we've got various bits of converted flats there and what we believe in is this idea that you know there should be options for all types of people throughout their lives and depending on density and depending on what you wear you might want to live and that's what's in the Pentonville project also thinking about intergenerational world so this is a competition that we did about eight years ago now looking for a site Newcastle actually looking at a kind of reinvention of the main house and the Meuse typology where you can infill different bits at different stages to address different styles of living as you move through your life and you have to negotiate the space outside of that and we're also really interested in modular housing and flat flexible and adaptable housing and this is some work we did with the home group recently looking at how to make this kind of stuff that can get on the site from a lorry and be delivered and made in CLT the other thing we're really really interested in in adaptability and this particularly is in the work that we've done on older people's housing for example this site in Dawlish in Devon where we've taken this flat and looked at how all these sliding walls can disappear so that there's actually a continuous route that you can walk all the way around the flat with these different views and thinking about how the different spaces in the dwellings can capture different moods and light and views depending on what time of day it is particularly thinking about the fact that older people tend to spend much longer in their home than people who are younger and more active so that's a way of getting them connected with nature and the outdoors even though they might still be within their dwelling and then looking at education so we're there so that's the school there with its outdoor space and the conversion of the existing buildings into the school with a kind of frontage that comes onto the square here and we were thinking very much about the kind of work we've done like at a CLE school here which is actually like an enormous Roman villa which is organized around a series of courtyards and with the library right at the centre which has a little sort of look above which then looks back over the courtyard below as a really nice way of configuring indoor and outdoor space together and finally thinking about the public realm and the importance of reconnecting I mean one of the other really big moves we in Pentonville was to remove the exterior wall and to connect it through to the neighborhood outside but to make most of it traffic free so these kinds of spaces again they're in VO one in Malmo this one's in in Copenhagen again with a canal on one side sort of shared surface on the other and quite dense but not really tall and then thinking about healthy transport options and this is the scheme we're currently working on in Kingston upon Thames which is a mini Holland scheme really trying to redress the balance away from car transit and much more towards cycling and pedestrian eyes dwells with this enormous cycle parking station at the station at Kingston so commuters can come in and out more easily and finally the importance of civic engagement in all of these conversations because I'm a firm believer that actually when we sort of go home we architects are not just are with citizens and everyone is an architect to the extent that they can make their home their own and this is some work that we did in again in the dwell project getting older people to think about how they might want to configure their perfect downsize our home and we need to call to account our built environment by getting the public more involved with what we do in order that they they are participants in what is done rather than just on the receiving end of what some finance officer decides to vest on them and one final slide which is that I think the regulatory system is quite interesting at the moment because it's moving more and more into looking at issues of quality of life for example through part em and as part of the dwell project I wrote this unapproved document for the building regs called part o which was for older people which is looking at how you might inscribe all issue that make us live happier and longer in our own homes in a document that could actually get rolled out as a building regulation so it was speculative and quite provocative but I think it's quite interesting to think about what that could mean for inscribing well-being at the heart of the regulatory process thank you thanks Peter and Sarah so I'm this wasn't intended or planned I hadn't seen their presentations but I hope this will complement the two that have gone before and perhaps expand on the specifics or a relationship between placemaking and the impact and more specifically the cost of design or poor design let's say on people's welfare and health I'm going to start with a fairly complex diagram which I don't never expect you all to be able to read the details of but perhaps you can see the breadth of it which is a diagram produced by public health England evidencing the extensive range of ailments and illnesses on public health the story on physical health or mental health on social health that are brought on and facilitated by the built environment everything from asthma to arthritis to obesity it's extraordinary that we and for those of you who are designers in the room have a huge responsibility to consider the impact of our designs on people's health and well-being and I think the lights of the arabe should be shouting from the rooftop about the role that good design and specifically architects can play in mitigating some of these health impacts but we know they've proven largely and effective to date and I think it's not just about you know as designers responding to these agendas it's not just being about good it's about kind of you responding in a way that delivers good design as well and I think being considerate of these issues whether it's light whether it's noise whether it's accessibility whether it's maintenance really what good designers should be considering in any case and the results will lead to good outcomes so I thought it'd be worth just reflecting on the fact that with those ailments comes a huge cost on our health services and it's estimated that as much 2 billion pounds a year this is quite an old statistic so I can't believe it hasn't gone up significantly since but 2 billion pounds a year is spent on treating illnesses arising from poor housing conditions than is spent by local authorities on their own housing stock and as Peters rightly said our public investment in housing is shockingly Paul and actually if we invested more in housing then I could be we might mitigate some of the costs of health services on social care etc so I thought perhaps illustrate our thoughts on the subject through three projects and but touched on specific aspects of them so I'm not going to describe them in the breadth that sarah has with her so I'll touch on elements of the design and hopefully they'll sort of touch on different aspects within each scheme this is Grand Park and segways on nicely from Peter's presentation because his scheme I showed earlier is somewhere here so this was the 1960s big vision for Grand Park up in Barnet and it failed fairly early on it failed in terms of its social care of its residents in the diversity the inclusivity you can see from sort of the the images up here on the on the right that it doesn't feel safe it's very poor quality public realm it is not conducive to sort of quality of life let's say and it's also since it's grown up in developments growing up around you can see from this development that it doesn't connect it doesn't Forge those relationships those networks that facilitate access inclusivity and connectivity to the wider neighborhood so before we were involved it was determined through consultation that the neighbor should be redeveloped and we were brought on to develop a new master plan which we then subsequently taken forward the first phase of but with every site despite its problems and I think I've just revealed some of those problems in the last image every site I believe has some assets and what's remarkable about this site is it has very beautiful or potentially beautiful landscape so it's got a large avenue of very mature trees London plain trees that run all the length of a site it has a fairly low grade Park but actually one that can be enhanced and really become an asset and a benefit to the neighborhood and for the residents so in terms of placemaking and as an urban designer first and foremost rather than architect our approach was to think about the public realm and the landscape considerations so really we kind of wanted to develop a design that worked to connect the park with the woodland walk and really kind of make that instead of a sort of fenced off area it becomes a play area it becomes a point of activity it becomes a space for a community and then the woodland walk is then connected to the park through new Green Streets that start forging east-west links that currently don't exist through the estate to the development that's grown up either side and then there are these moments within the development of more hard landscaped spaces so Peters scheme I showed you down here has retail and a neighborhood center at that end and then our master plan includes a new neighborhoods an additional neighborhood center in the middle which will have health center and local retail and then these sort of small interstitial public spaces that might have play areas or be spaces for communities to gather hopefully very much in the so it's same sort of vein as the examples that Peter showed in his work and this is the emerging master plan again Peter scheme just off the map here and so one neighbor sent here one year that becomes the focus for that community it will have a very integrated building with Health Service with community center with cafe with GP clinics it's got a nursery in it so it becomes the glue that helps bind and bar buying the community and offers a kind of sense of focus and a sense of place and then the park is enhanced for specific types of uses the woodland walk again improved and enhanced for both planned and intended activities as well as impromptu and unknown and um unintended activities why is this so important I think perhaps I don't know the reasons for this is it because cities are becoming more web becoming more security conscious is it because we have less access to open space is it because densities precluding the ease of ease and ability for kids to get out into the public realm but the evidence is only 21% of children in the UK play outdoors compared with their parents generation of 71 percent according to design council okay and the impact of that again more statistics but I thought a good complement to what's gone before in the UK the direct financial cost of physical an Titanic in activity to the NHS is estimated at 900 million pounds and we know from health evidence that people would benefit enormously from being able to easily get out access and to open space be able to walk more to each day and if your environment isn't conducive to kind of feeling safe when you step outside it's not going to encourage or allow people to comfortably enjoy their neighborhood walk to work walk to transport walked to the shops etc especially for the elderly generation as Sarah mentioned and I think evidence from likes of Holly Street to state regeneration in Hackney has revealed that actually use of GP surgery in the area reduced after the regeneration because specifically the elderly felt they could get out more exercise more and enjoy the environment and were less vulnerable to muggings and so on so you know designers by design we can help mitigate some of these broader societal costs I'm largely focusing on well-being in terms of subject my talk will just mention in terms of the Equality aspect the our our design is very much tenure blind it's a mixed tenure sixty percent affordable housing and it's very much broken up into family housing in terraces apartments in mansion blocks we've got villas with that a taller to provide accents and help sense of orientation and legibility of a neighborhood so we're always very conscious we're working with our clients to ensure a good level of affordable provision that there's a good access for family housing for range of incomes for different family structures different family sizes and so on it's just got planning last week and we're about to take the first phase forward to site next year and all the existing residents are going to be rehoused on the estate which brings me on to the next scheme agar grove another client who has already been mentioned this evening london borough of camden and what I wanted to talk specifically about this in relation to well-being is the aspiration that the client has to mitigate the huge impact of fuel poverty that they have in the borough and they're very conscious that tenants of theirs are living without heating or unable to afford the heating within their homes and that obviously then and again adds a burden in terms of them as a landlord and their duty of care to those residents so they set out an aspiration to deliver this to passive house standards which is a remarkable ambition of theirs it's you know it is a significant cost uplift to achieve it compared with typical housing it's not quite 500 homes I should say the scheme is 500 homes there'll be 345 passive house schemes and then the tower which is actually an existing Tower to be refurbished will be delivered to briam excellent and we've delivered or just about complete block 1 we've worked on this with Hawkins Brown so they've done half of it we've done half of it planned it together and that's about to complete and then that unlocks the whole development and again is very worked collaboratively with the residents they set out their ambition to have new housing and it's it's a very drawn-out process it'll be a very slow project because we have to build on a carpark first in order to then allow these residents to all the residents in blocks here to move into here and then unlocks and the whole scheme but on the specific aspect of passive house and importance of building performance I think a related issue is not just fuel poverty but impacts on health such as asthma so if you're living in a damp environment or a poorly ventilated environment then we know that has implications for health so the UK has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the world one in 8 to 1 in 11 children currently treated for the condition and more statistics in terms of health 1 billion apparently spent on that I'm not sure those all add up but anyway there are different figures from different places and from different years so how do we deal with things like asthma well the thing about passive house is it helps manage the ventilation within the home but also helps reduce heat loss reduces improves the thermal environment so very simple things like ensuring that the building's optimize aspect due south which optimizes solar gain and therefore minimizes the amount of heating you need to provide simple form factor that reduces heat loss good detailing in terms of reducing thermal bridging mechanical heat and ventilation which manages air supply to avoid damp and ensure the sufficient quality of air for the amount of residence in the home but it's not it's not a hermetic environment it's not exclusively designed to be mechanically vented if a resident wants to open a window they can and in that regard we've always try and design for dual aspect Grand Park I showed you previously is 100% dual aspect agar Grove is likewise and we're kind of intrigued to know in some of our blocks we've developed these split-level apartments with the great thing about working canden is they have the legacy of Sydney cooks era Aleksandra road by neve brown the work of Benson Forsyth all those architects of the 60s and 70s did amazing work for Camden and we're kind of intrigued and want to reimagine some of the thinking of the creative spatial delight of split-level living so here you get views down to the garden the other way you get views up to the sky you get light from the top and you get a really interesting quality of dwelling so jewel aspect for cross ventilation thinking about where you put bedrooms so they're away from the street so you get the quiet and a place of retreat thinking about detailing so that you get you can manage ventilation as well as noise and then in terms of passive house as I've already mentioned very careful detailing to help mitigate fuel poverty probably running out of town so I've got one more subject and one more project which is designing for the elderly and again a subject that's been brought up already this evening again a bit more evidence loneliness twice as unhealthy as obesity for older people scientists found that the loneliness was nearly nearly twice as likely to die during the six years studied and the least lonely so we need to be really considerate about designing for inclusivity designing environments that allow especially whether it's widows people living alone access to a supporting environment to supporting neighborhood and there is a desire as this evidence shows for people to downsize but we don't think the right offer is there and I think Sara's work on dwell certainly reveals the need to improve our Design Thinking to cater for this sector why do we need to the biggest burden on our tax on our public spend is social care 21 billion a year I think that's a year oh yeah 21 2011 to 2020 hugest the largest costs are for uses of our tax but catering for the smaller proportion of services is just 1.4 million people are using that amount of public spend it's disproportionate and again anything that I can do anything that we can do as architects to try and mitigate some of that burden I think is great work and I think it's been mentioned already the population age is growing 3.8 million of pensionable age over the next 25 years and often our housing that people living in at that age is unsuitable for their needs injuries due to fall cost Oh another billion so everything seems to be a billion this evening but there we go billion pounds to deal with cost from Falls and we can design that out we can design accessible level access homes that improve quality of life as you grow into your old age and again further evidence postponing entry into residential care by one year could reduce non care costs by twenty six thousand pounds so we're really interested in the spaces in between as well as housing and as well as public realm there are spaces that we're interested in within dwellings within a complex of development or buildings that will help facilitate and provide social amenity for residents so one scheme here that shows the idea of within an elderly care facility or third age housing the idea of a community room that can be used for bingo for events for but also act as a village hall for the wider neighborhood and there's compelling evidence 100 from 148 studies that communities with strong social relationships are likely to remain a live longer than similar individuals with poor social relationships so trying to help forge connectivity I think is a welcomed idea and on this scheme in Lambeth we've tried to do that through principle of progressive privacy so this diagram here shows the transition from a sort of very busy street with a public space in the foreground which is accessible to all into a foyer and atrium that is accessible for residents and their visitors into smaller community spaces available to share by just a group of residents as this next one shows so you have the foyer where your friends and families can come you have community garden which hopefully will be as rich as the ones we've seen earlier with community growing and so on and then each two storeys I think it's eight flats shares this winter garden which could be for reading newspapers for playing chess with your neighbor but socializing allowing connections but then if you want privacy you can live independently within the flats as well and that's it thank you okay so I'm sure there are lots of questions that are going to come from the floor but if you're just bear with me I'd quite like to just open the discussion and I think we've had you know fascinating levels of detail and insights and research about the work that architects do to engage with and to really consider well-being in equality in good design principles I wanted to ask you because it was published last week as a draft consultation if you had any reflections about this discussion with the London plan if you don't that's fine but if you had any thoughts about them as a plan because the London plan really does seem to be setting out agenda where principles of well-being in equality being quite heavily placed within its claims and it's its interests and for example there are obviously these the idea of and the principles of better housing of affordability of 40% affordable housing coming in to schemes of improvements to transport and the principle that access to infrastructure and transport which means the reduction on cars will be a major contribution and of better improved understanding of environmental principles along with many other infrastructure and planning processes so I just wondered if you had any comments or thoughts about your processes and you in your senses of well-being in equality and how that London plan seems to be possibly a good development of that or whether you're skeptical if you don't want to make a comment bits but Alex maybe can I go to you first I was actually away when it came out so but I have read it or read some of it and as a most advocate of kind of supportive of the design very evident design commitment in it the proportion the aspiration to raise affordable housing provision is really credible and and and necessary I think though it pushes a ambition to raise density as a means of achieving higher housing provision and with that affordable version and there's a balance there that I think needs really the care and attention of designers and a level of resistance if necessary from clients so density I think is great for supporting or driving a growth in population that can then in turn support local services local amenity it's more cost-effective in terms of land use it's forges closer connections there are a lot of positives to driving high density but there's also I believe there's a tipping point where if you push too high you mitigate or you're you're kind of working against good daylight and sunlight into the homes or into the public realm your congesting access you're putting huge pressure on you know the goodwill of people to live well together so I think the good thing about London plan is it does allow design to drive that thinking that the risk is that without the safeguard that the density matrix is going or it out and that was a sort of the benchmark so there's a risk foot the pressure density might go too far okay Thank You Pete well I just want to say that it's just from experience it seems is this which son yeah it seems to me we've been working lots of suburban boroughs and I think the number of things which can be done to address the housing crisis want us to end the right to buy another is to introduce rent caps or rent controls at least in the private sector the third is to have a large social housing program and I think that that social housing program should be concentrated in suburbia and we're doing quite a lot of social housing in suburbia and filled Greenwich Durham and other boroughs outer London boroughs and I think that the policy coming from from the central government of London GLA and so on it can only really be effective if it has teeth because and one of the problems that we're finding is that it seems and I don't understand the politics of it actually but it seems that these policies are almost advisory and and they don't necessarily get adopted by the outer London boroughs who are clinging to their image of themselves some interwar image of themselves a sort of metro land of big parks big guns and so on and you know their rural is our traffic jam and unless we can deal with these bits of London which aren't working as hard as the rest of London and which are and having a negative effect on our environment and our the opportunity as I see it for creating the large amounts of housing that we need unless the policy which you know which I really welcome it is actually put in to place which says you don't no longer need three cars parked outside your house and that you need you know fifty square meter garden and all the stuff that Enfield and other boroughs are clinging onto it won't really be effective okay thank you so do you want to add any comment about policy and planning in terms of I don't really want to talk about policy so much and I was actually locked in a planning inquiry all last week which is why I probably missed it coming out and I don't really know anything about it but I do want to say something I mean I'm completely echo what's been said about social housing and I think you know as a Londoner I think one of the things that you know I worry about is a sort of hollowing out of the center of London by so you know the global marketplace and the effects that's having on not the inability of London to remain a kind of MIT very mixed community and I really worry about that because I don't I mean I don't want to live in a sort of ghetto with just people like me I just don't think that's what a city is all about and I do worry about the if that's true about the relaxation of heights and densities and things like that because I actually think that your proximity the ground is really really important I'm not saying that there can't be other models but I think that impacts upon something else which is about the public realm and about transportation because actually I mean I think a lot of what this conversation is about is actually being driven by public finance ultimately but I think it could have a really good effect because ultimately if we can improve sort of social life at street level and in our drawings and how other housing complexes and we can improve sort of air quality and make public transport more effective and get people back walking and cycling and doing all the other things they do with where their transport choices are self propel then we would be a much healthier and happier community I think and one of the reasons that people cite all the time for why they're not gonna cycle is because it's dangerous on the road so if we could remove the need of the desire to own a car and and use that in the city I mean I think we would have an amazing effect on the quality of the street the public realm and we should be really absolutely thank you so I've got a question the front could you wait for the microphone please he's a kind of there's something that I was wondering that I felt that was a kind of lack of the the process that in general that had been presented and I was wondering how you guys see that things one of them it's about a lot about public realm and networking and stuff like that and I was wondering what happened to the inner quality and the privacy that are features that are part of the well that is very much being applied now in offices but is not being applied properly in residences like like okay it's very good you have to see everybody but where is the space inside an equality of our in-house that we have that's first second what about taking possession of the things why we design for them and then why people cannot be part of the well it is the diversity in the typology that makes you take ownership of where you live and build up a community and make us unique in the third one I know it's just the third one justice Souter it's very quick because links to the first one sorry about that is because when you go to the privacy and you have people from different cultures and backgrounds they have different briefs somebody leaves more than the Kita's more in the more in the living room so all this kind of inner I would like to know how you guys see the inner quality of life well I don't think it's possible to generalize about what people want from their housing some people like have a strong emphasis on being private and other people like being around other people and so for some people the idea of living on the back of a pavement at ground floor level is heaven and for other people living on the 20th floor of a building with a fantastic view it's their idea so one of the words you use I think was it it's a mixture of typology so so well I think that it's good if we can have different sorts of housing in to suit different kinds of personalities and people with different you know psychological needs and makeup just or perspective I yeah you can only cover so much ground in in 15 minutes and appropriately give 10 lectures on the same projects completely different one of our kind of particular interests in the practice is it's a threshold condition whether that's urban thresholds in terms of transitioning from kind of large-scale public spaces to smaller scale kind of interstitial spaces within the public realm or literally the threshold into the house and with Grand Park with a car grove scheme so I showed they very much built on the idea of kind of a managed relationship between public and private whether that's boundary treatments whether it's front gardens whether it's porches or sort of insects they windows that lead to the front door those it becomes a really interesting design exercise for one because you cannot articulate the street beautifully but then also I think it helps manage that transition between public and private and I suppose the last scheme I showed where it was very explicit in the arrangement of the the foyer the winter gardens and then your own private independent flat so evidence is that sort of interest-only by the same token I was in Holland taking students around a year or two ago and we've visited a project where the ground floor in front of all the houses were a bit like up and over garage doors and so people's in this oh and people were choosing to live like that so that the facade opened up and people were sitting in watching telly and on their cities and you know on the edge of the pavement in the pavement it was all at the same level and I thought that was magical and we're all talking about loneliness and people feeling isolated and you know for some people that might be at the idea so yeah I just wanted to say one thing and and and this is absolutely not facetious I mean really interested in the ability of people to be able to modify their own environment and obviously I'm a choice ultimately you know not all of us have choice but I'm really interested in something like for example this is where it company you I don't want you to think it's facetious the neck curtain you know there's lots of buildings where you know the front windows into your living room are right on the back of the street a lots of people modify that through the neck curtain and actually it's a fantastic device in many ways but it's the sort of thing that architects hate because they're not in control of it and you know the idea of sort of transparency it equals a sort of openness and democracy and all the rest fear is a very very strong prevailing ideology but actually I think the ability to modify your relationship with what's outside through things like that for example it's really amazing and we ought to be encouraging that because even if you you know if you want to repeat behind it you have the choice you want to open it up you have that choice to thank you another question or comment a buck thank you hi I'm an architect with not that much experience and priests were clients of my studio constructors so I don't know if you can help me to have some suggestion about to basically trick them into this kind of architecture or any document that we can use to demonstrate them that this could be also their interests I don't think that there's an answer but maybe could you just repeat that who you're are you talking about a client hi yeah main clients of my studio our constructors or developers to be honest it's incredibly hard I mean we're lucky that most of our clients of public sector clients so they like canden as i showed they set the ambition for Passivhaus nartz which is great I think though on private sector that you can use evidence it does help if that you can show that actually good design will drive values that creating an inclusive environment is which improves sense of security and will reduce crime you know they love that sort of thing when you can point to a sort of statistics and evidence and kabe a lot of you know set by their demise but the Commission for architecture in the built environment used to publish huge numbers of reports with good evidence as to why good design adds value and I mean adding value in terms of economic value but also the stuff we've talked about this evening social value cultural value and so on so so do that helps certainly other than that it's probably just being kind of dogged persistent argumentative with your clients and you know tenacious I think I've been following on from that I didn't exactly hear about I I think that precedent is a really good way of reassuring people about what you're proposing if you're how could you come well it actually reaches me if I come up with an idea and I can't think of anywhere it's been done before that I worry about it I suppose makes me a bit reactionary but all very reactionary all conservative but some so if you've got an idea and you trying to encourage your client to understand it I think if you can say well you know over in Mile End there's a bit of housing that's a bit like that or down in you know Kensington there's an apartment building which does that and either show them photographs or take them there and very often when we're making presentations it's the point at which we pull out a photograph of a really successful piece of London which has some analogies it's the point at which they suddenly get that project yeah and I want to say that I mean I think one of the things that architects have to try and make the case for a bit more is you know the cost of not doing these things the cost to other areas of life so you know Alex's table about social care and so on is really interesting because you know the cost of the NHS of bad housing for example or Falls or whatever it's kind of that the problem in one area impacts upon another area who has to pick up the bill ultimately is all our money you know and we need to join the dots and see the consequences of these things as a society and actually begin to think about it in the round and and make that case more and more and more and in fact one of the things that I'm doing at the moment is working with an organisation called real worth who are trying to monetize or understand what the cost benefits are of a more benign society such as the one we've come up with in Pentonville as opposed to constantly sending people back to prison which costs over 30k a year to keep someone there the cost to the economy of not having those people as working members of society contributing to taxation themselves the cost to family life to children's growing up situations etc etc etc a child poverty and so on so you know these are all costs through our society of the ignorance that we have about how it impacts upon our lives as a whole and you know in an era of austerity where you ought to be taking that so-called austerity we ought to be thinking very hard about that thank you there's a question over that join funder experience working with Camden Council and similar councils and no effect do you have any what the colony pros any recommendations in encouraging other councils and in other boroughs to become almost developers in their own right to then almost cut out I'm saying if you have any comments any recommendations to over count working for accounts with other borrowers and other councils to get them to almost become and developers and their own right I wasn't good at Campbell for example so we could almost help us a little bit thank you I think that quite a diverse range we're seeing more and more London boroughs at least that are ambitious to build themselves don't finding different vehicles to do it so Camden literally built themselves they they procure it through pre-cooking tractors and where they're using cross subsidy from market sale they take the profit in order to plow back into affordable housing that's very convincing argument to other Barons some they were setting up arm's length vehicle so we're working with Corden who have brick by brick which is doing lots of good work done and there's red loft it sorry red door ventures in Europe and so on I think more borrowers once there's more built and more evidence of the good work that local authorities can do themselves you know whether stuff happening out in Therac or accountant or Enfield there's lots of really good housing being built now by local authorities I think that's the best mechanism we've been asked last week by one borough to show around our working campus because they're interested in what the other bar is doing so take that the ones you have in mind to see stuff and get their get their appetite whetted for good design and good built environment because the local authorities the public sector has been absolute desecrated for decades since Thatcher abolished the right of local authorities to build housing and it's coming back it's now there's a re-emergence of local authorities wanting to build stuff it's still pretty small in terms of the numbers that we need but it's encouraging and I think there'll be more to follow I mean oh yeah so following again I'm following over matter I think it's some the will is there and really and it's becoming more possible to do it and councils are kind of skilling up you know they Alec said they're there they were decimated and lots of them had really good housing departments which were making housing but in the end it's about I think it's about money and until there's proper pop of the pop of funding for local authorities to build council housing through direct taxation they can't do it and I would say I mean it's possible to do in London where land values are quite high so you can cross subsidize the social component with market housing but somewhere like Sheffield where our dwell project was based where land values are so low that actually you can ha leave an interest in RSL in working there let alone get a developer it's really really difficult and I just don't think that's a model that works for a lot of areas outside of London thank you any other questions I'm starting a architect I'm starting an architect let social housing model with my colleague here do you think it's a good time to do it well I mean you know not with this government but you know I think we might be in for a new government you know in them too distant future I hope so and they they they they their policy is to build lots of social housing that's they commit menses I understand it I manifest a commitment so if things go the right way it will be money available and ya know I'm only good luck and I think know what I like about your approach is sir but again historically there were dicks and Jones grin Shaw and Farrell another set up and David Levitt set up circle 33 which was now the biggest housing association in the country so octaves have done in the past so yeah what's your name thank you um I think I've got time for one more question one has a burning question they'd like to before we close yes oh yeah thanks for your talks but in all your presentations I strike by the amounts of green in them and also think about the London plan is a London environment strategy out for consultation I was just wondering if you could talk a bit more about how in your work you see the relationship between society and nature both theoretically but perhaps also practically and how their impacts on well-being I mean I think the more that we can encourage people to understand you know natural cycles where their food comes from that it's very beneficial for your wealth for your mental health to look out on be in and you know understand nature and its cycles it's absolutely fundamental and I think we we probably don't get quite enough in London and certainly for example in Islington it's got the least open space of any borough in the whole of the UK so actually the whole thing about you know planting corners and street trees and you know access to Roof Gardens etc etc can be ways of getting you out in nature and it sort of understanding those things even if it's not you know a park or you know Hampstead Heath or whatever I mean I I once did a lecture about 20 years ago in in Dublin for John to me and I was sort of arguing that we should have fruit trees and the streets so that people could pick the apples when they wanted and that that went down with complete division at the time but you know actually it's it's coming back and I think that's you know it's like the urban hedgerow and that's a really nice idea it's sort of free food and you can go foraging within the city and you know if it weren't for all the issues around you know the mess on the ground when the apples fall and there's you know people complaining about slipping on them and things like that it might happen because it's all this municipal ization of everything which makes it really impossible to do things like but I think it would be absolutely fantastic we turned all our streets into productive Gardens thank you I like soapy do you want to add a name question yeah an ecological city isn't necessarily one which is full of trees and I think you know some of the greenest cities and I'm not very everywhere they're just well-planned so that and because the big issue is that if we don't sort things out this planets going to burn up and you know humanity wiped out and I suppose I think that a reasonably dense City which doesn't rely on large numbers of cars where people can walk to school walk to a local shop is one which is more likely to so that's not just another way of thinking about it you know I really love being in a city like Barcelona where there are trees absolutely everywhere and by the same token I find some contemporary housing projects where there are trees absolutely everywhere in planted plant raised planters absolutely everywhere or the doll I just I just want to say one other thing I was in Athens in April this year and down in the centre of Athens all the orange trees were out in blossom and the smell in the street everywhere you went was intense and it was such an evocative environment to be and it was really beautiful great thank you well I think on that image we should draw close to the evening so thank you very much you

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