The race is on to create smart new developments and exciting one-off homes that Londoners can afford. And if you want to be the first to know about our homes for the future, then go and find out at Des Res, the exhibition that opens tomorrow at the New London Architecture gallery.
London’s population is growing faster than any other European city - an estimated 700,000 in the next 15 years - and this increasing population needs homes. As part of The London Plan, the Mayor has set an ambitious target of 30,500 new homes each year until 2016.
'The best designs are made responding to challenges'
During the Thirties’ building boom, the average ratio of wages to house prices was between three to four times. Now it is eight. So Londoners desperately need affordable new homes, and ones that meet new targets on sustainability and energy efficiency - without being dull.
Fortunately, as Des Res, an exhibition devoted to London housing, proves designers love a challenge and the best designs are often made responding to those challenges. From smart, colourful new developments to plenty of exciting private homes, there are 150 projects on show that challenge the idea that the rush to meet targets might result in a “dash for trash”.
Architects Make have linked up with developer Candy & Candy to develop Noho Square in WC1, on the site of the old Middlesex Hospital. This stylish, mixed-use development will have 261 apartments set in landscaped grounds, with offices. In Kensington, the redevelopment of a Sixties’ block into a groovy-looking tower called Imago improved the skyline and local property prices.
There is also a public weekend on 17 to 18 May where you can meet designers and architects and find out more about housing, plus a full series of talks.
Des Res runs from 24 April until 14 June at New London Architecture, 26 Store Street, WC1. For details, visit www.newlondonarchitecture.org.