Baca Architects

Architects create 100 solutions for London’s housing crisis

17 September 2015 | By Joe Quirke 0 Comments

Environmental consultancy New London Architecture (NLA) has today released a shortlist of 100 ideas to solve the UK capital’s housing crisis.

The solutions were among 200 entries to an international ideas competition that was launched in June, and was backed by the major of London. Architects from 16 countries took part.

The cost of buying and renting property in London has increased at such a rate over the past two years that an average property sells for about $750,000, and private tenants typically spend more than 40% of their income on rent.

The root cause is the lack of new housing: London is reckoned to need about 63,000 new homes a year, but only a third of that number are actually built.

YMCA and Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners' Y:Cube

The shortlist of ideas to increase housing supply contains submissions from architects such as Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Grimshaw, Farrells, dRMM, Mae Architects as well as developers, consultants, borough councils and London residents.

Among the eye-catching entries is one by Baca Architects that would deliver 7,500 prefabricated floating houses along London’s unused canal system (top image).

NBBJ, the architect behind the Circle Line’s huge moving walkway, has created the idea of replacing some of London’s roads with new homes and community spaces (pictured).

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has collaborated with the YMCA to push the Y:Cube, a self-contained one-bedroom unit that is ready for plug-and-play assembly.

dRMM's “Floatopolis”

dRMM want to make a “Floatopolis” (pictured) creating water neighbourhoods incorporating housing, office space, schools and more.

Submissions will be on display in a public exhibition at the NLA galleries in The Building Centre from 15 October.

Ten winning ideas, selected by a jury, will be announced in mid-October.

Jurors range from Richard Blakeway, the deputy mayor for housing, land and property to Daniel Lovatt, head of property development at Transport for London.

NBBJ's entry

Winning entrants will be invited to join a Greater London Authority working group to examine how their ideas can be applied to sites.

Lord Bob Kerslake, chair of the London Housing Commission, said: “The scale of the challenge is so big that we genuinely need some fresh thinking. There are a lot of new ideas here, particularly new approaches to tenure and off site construction.”

Images via Baca Architects, NBBJ, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners and dRMM