New Exhibit ‘Social Housing’ at Center for Architecture Displays the Best of European Affordable Housing



Photo credit: Erik Bardin

Affordable housing in New York City is a daily headline, with a growing homeless population and aging housing. How do other countries address this issue? The current exhibit, Social Housing ~ New European Projects, at the Center for Architecture displays their best efforts.

“Social Housing” New European Projects. Photo credit: Erik Bardin

The exhibit takes up two floor of the Center for Architecture and showcases 25 European social housing projects by 20 different firms. Each project includes a short description, drawing, rendering and a model. The projects cover a broad thought-process with a focus on affordable housing, including mixed-use housing and even co-op models for ownership.

The public projects are meant to offer up a challenge to our housing professionals to rethink not only how we build, but also the vital role of accessible, low-cost housing, while we work toward a higher standard in design.

Photo credit: Erik Bardin

The exhibit, Social Housing ~ New European Projects is based on a 2017 publication by the same name, a project of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), who commissioned  London-based Karakusevic Carson Architects. In the end, RIBA ~ who specializes in social housing – created a “how-to manual for housing.”  The RIBA team reviewed 500 submissions before selecting the 25 finalists presented here.  The “how-to” manual, now a book by the same name: Social Housing: Definitions and Design Exemplars.

Photo credit: Erik Bardin

New York’s Public Design Commission (PDC) has been working with numerous groups, including AIA New York chapter (AIANY) to formulate a new report on how to deliver enough high quality affordable housing. This report is due this spring. Perhaps we will gather some new ideas from our European counterparts.

Photo credit: Erik Bardin

Social Housing ~ New European Projects is on view at the Center for Architecture through May 19, 2018. Related programming includes a panel discussion on March 20th, also held at the Center. The Center for Architecture is located at 537 laGuardia Place, between West 3rd Street and Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.

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