The progressive values of early Modernism led to great experiments in affordable housing. Architects today are adopting the vision of their idealistic predecessors, but learning from the mistakes of post World War II public projects.
There is growing insight that the best housing is integrated with social services as well as connected to the urban fabric and the wider community. Contemporary affordable housing solutions should be designed to provide better security and more light, common spaces, recreational amenities, facilities for support services and spaces that foster wellness. They should reach beyond their role of mere residential accommodation (housing), with a broader scope of addressing inhabitants’ holistic wellbeing (habitats).
The brief for this ENVISION project was to explore how architecture can provide affordable habitats that are low cost in construction while maintaining high quality design, amenity and quality of life for inhabitants, across a range of scenarios.
The problem is that people do not demand houses; they demand habitats. A house is an object; a habitat is a node in a multiplicity of overlapping networksRicardo Hausmann, 2013