Architects ditch traditional garden in favour of shared spaces

Architects ditch traditional garden in favour of shared spaces

August 24, 2020

Goodbye to the British back garden? Architects shortlisted by government to build next generation of affordable housing ditch traditional yard in favour of shared spaces to boost integration

  • Entrants in the Home of 2030 contest must design homes that are greener, healthier and better for the elderly
  • A number of entrants claim they wish to abolish the ‘ubiquitous rear garden’ in favour of communal spaces
  • The schemes could see homes that are self-built with green roofs, straw walls or car-free areas

Architects on a government shortlist to design new housing in England are calling for an end to traditional back gardens in favour of communal spaces to boost integration and help the environment.

A number of winning designs for the Home of 2030 contest feature common areas that run from the front doors of residents’ homes to shared vegetable gardens and outdoor dining spaces.  

Ministers have put six design teams on a shortlist to work alongside volume housebuilders to help make new homes healthier, greener, better for elderly residents – and quicker to construct, The Guardian reports.  

The schemes, which have been given £40,000 development grants, could see homes that are self-built with green roofs, straw walls or car-free areas.   

Six finalists, who were revealed yesterday, have been told they will be introduced to developers who want to build on public land under the management of Homes England. 

But a spokesperson for the Home of 2030 competition told MailOnline that while the winners would explore opportunities for building on Homes England land, the ideas and concepts proposed were ‘equally applicable’ to both public and private housing, and there is potential for further developments for public or private homes. 

A number of winning home designs for the Home of 2030 contest feature common areas that run from the front doors of residents’ homes to shared vegetable gardens and outdoor dining spaces. Pictured: One design which features so-called ‘PlugNPlay’ buildings made with simple frame structures and standardised component interfaces, promising ‘planet positive, zero ”UpFront” carbon, net positive in use and in green, walkable, vibrant neighbourhoods’

Competition entrant Patrick Usborne, whose firm Perpendicular oversaw a winning entry that used wood panels made from British-only timber, said: ‘There’s an English perception that owning your castle needs its own land. But if we are to improve community cohesion we need to remove the ubiquitous rear garden and bring together external spaces for the community.’ 

Chris Brown, the director of self-build estate designer Igloo, which is among those shortlisted, said: ‘We’re on a crusade to abolish greed-driven identikit development on soulless estates.

‘After Covid-19, people will want their towns and cities back, to make beautiful places where home schooling and working from home is designed in – not an afterthought – and where the climate, nature and community are prioritised over profit.’

The four key requirements given to designers by the government include: the ability for homes to adapt as residents age; encouragement of healthy living; net zero carbon emissions; and the capability to be constructed in large numbers. 

Another of the proposed sites, named ‘Janus’, would be built from 98% ‘organic biomass material’, mainly unitised timber and straw. The proposal features multiple units spread across communal green houses and gardens, which designers say brings ‘vibrancy and diversity to the site’

Six finalists, who were revealed yesterday, will be introduced to developers who want to build on public land under the management of Homes England (pictured: One of the designs) 

Designers say the pictured plot is intended to be adapted to the ‘scale and needs of the community, generating connected, sustainable, age-friendly and inclusive neighbourhoods’

Housing minister Chris Pincher has given the competition has backing.    

One of the contestants, Openstudio Architects Ltd, has proposed a set of homes with a central garden shared between four units, which, they say, ‘balances the need for privacy with building a sense of community, and [mixes] independence with caring for others’. 

‘Modular mass-timber construction’ on the proposed sites will ensure scalability and a low environmental impact, they say. 

Another of the proposed sites, named ‘Janus’, would be built from 98% ‘organic biomass material’, mainly unitised timber and straw. The proposal features multiple units spread across communal green houses and gardens, which designers say brings ‘vibrancy and diversity to the site’. 

One design features so-called ‘PlugNPlay’ buildings made with simple frame structures and standardised component interfaces, promising ‘planet positive, zero ”UpFront” carbon, net positive in use and in green, walkable, vibrant neighbourhoods’. 

Source: Read Full Article