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Restock London Housing Competition

IBLA received an Honourable Mention in The Re-Stock London Housing Competition, part of Bee Breeders’ Affordable Housing competition series. Run in partnership with ARCHHIVE Books and the Bartlett School of Architecture, this competition tasked participants with submitting innovative design proposals for mitigating the affordable housing crisis in London.

It is the second competition focused on this city following the London Affordable Housing Challenge. The 2018 London Housing Strategy, issued by the Greater London Authority, in partnership with Mayor Sadiq Khan, calculated that only 13 percent of new homes given planning permission in 2016 were affordable. It assessed that number had risen to 30 percent after £4.82bn of affordable housing funding was secured for London from the government. Among the key points of the 2018 Strategy was “identifying and bringing forward more land for housing” by surveying the city for large sites to be adapted for housing and mixed-use development. The assessment identified the capacity and target for 65,000 new homes each year across London for the next 10 years. The initiative was a good start, but even more must be done by architects and designers to creatively identify development opportunities within London.

This competition sought to reconsider the use of existing London sites, as a means to jumpstarting the city of London once again as a hotbed of innovative housing. Participants were given the choice to rework existing housing schemes, extend and transform existing buildings, or design new buildings or strategies on sites of their choice within London. No minimum unit size or density was defined. The jury sought proposals that intelligently adapted existing infrastructure, considered community cohesion, limited energy consumption, or put forth innovative construction methods. While this competition was conceptual in nature, weight was given to flexible schemes that could be feasibly adapted to various sites and residential unit types, and implemented to increase London’s housing stock.

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