Coming Home: Forms of spatial and social identity in British housing

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This paper begins with the premise that the rich history of spatial experimentation in British housing that runs from the Prince Albert Model Houses (1851) to Neave Brown’s Alexandra Road (1979) has stalled. A sketch analysis of a single case study is used to introduce and demonstrate a theoretical model for understanding the relationship between spatial forms and spatial practices. The model, based on the theories of Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau, utilises everyday practices as a way of interrogating existing housing typologies. It focuses on the role of routines (spatial practices) and exterior territories (spatial forms) in the formation of inhabitants’ own individual and collective identities. The findings of the case study suggest an alternative reading of the history of collective housing in Britain and a sketch outline of what this might look like is proposed. The suggestion is that the space of arrival and departure, the link between the home and the city-at-large is an under-evaluated formal aspect of housing design that is much better able to shed light on the relative success and failure of various housing estates.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHousing Solutions through Design
EditorsGraham Cairns, Kirsten Day, Christakis Chatzichristou
Place of PublicationFaringdon, Oxfordshire
PublisherLibri Publishing
ISBN (Print)9781911451020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


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