European social housing show presents thinking outside the box

Compare and Contrast

European social housing show presents thinking outside the box

Social housing in Europe is as varied in form as the countries that contain it. Towers, low-slung row houses, and standalone homes are all valid social housing typologies throughout the world, and all of them can be seen at Social Housing – New European Projects, now on display at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan.

Of course, no definition of “social housing” can be universal, but the main thrust of Social Housing is to expose American architects, planners, developers and politicians to the myriad of different types.

Twenty different firms from across Europe have assembled 25 case studies of social housing projects, most of them realized, ranging from refurbishment to experimental building typologies. What links them together is that they present a vision for an alternative to market-driven housing construction. Models and renderings of each project are on display, grouped by building type, as well as diagrams comparing social housing statistics across countries, and video pieces.

The studios contributing work to Social Housing include:

Adam Khan Architects (UK),

Assemble (UK),

Avenier & Cornejo Architectes (France),

Chartier Dalix (France),

Hans van der Heijden (The Netherlands),

einszueins architektur(Austria),

Hawkins\Brown (UK),

Haworth Tompkins Architects (UK),

Karakusevic Carson Architects (UK),

Lacaton & Vassal (France),

LAN architecture (France),

Mae (UK),

Mecanoo(The Netherlands),

Mikhail Riches Architects (UK),

Mole (UK),

muf architecture/art (UK),

Niall McLaughlin Architects (UK),

s333 architecture + Urbanism (UK),

Sergison Bates architects (UK and CH),

TVK (France),

Witherford Watson Mann (UK),

and zanderroth architeckten (Germany).

Curated by Karakusevic Carson Architects, Social Housing the exhibit pulls exemplary projects from the similarly titled book released late last year, Social Housing: Definitions and Design Exemplars. Interviews with each of the firms are included, providing contrasting roadmaps for designers in the states who are looking towards Europe for guidance.

Paul Karakusevic was on hand for opening night comments. (Jonathan Hilburg/AN)

Social Housing – New European Projects is open now at the Center for Architecture and will run until May 19, 2018.