London is home to some of the most expensive properties in the world, making access to affordable housing almost impossible to all but the very rich. According to a report by UBS Wealth Management, London homes are the second most over-priced in the world, and closely behind Vancouver in its “bubble risk rating”. London house prices increased by 25% from 2014-2016, mainly due to foreign investment and low interest rates, making it the second-least affordable housing bubble in the world after Hong Kong.
For the London Affordable Housing Challenge, participants are asked to design a pilot-phase concept for affordable housing within Britain’s capital city. In order to be successful, designs need to be easily rolled out to increase the capacity of housing stock, while at the same time with minimal use of land and resources.
Successful designs will be flexible enough to be adapted to any location across the city, and accommodate different inhabitant capacity requirements. No minimum size or amount of residential units per block is defined. As there is no one specified location for this challenge, participants are free to create designs in a London location of their choice, as long as it fits in with the brief of supplying affordable housing to residents.
This architecture competition requires for both prudent planning and out of the box thinking. Winning participants will need to apply unique strategies as well as creative designs to tackle the housing crisis, while at the same time remaining in keeping with the city’s situation and heritage.