Center for Architecture's “Social Housing – New European Projects” - Feb. 15

New York, NY The Center for Architecture will open “Social Housing – New European Projects” on Thursday, February 15 at 6 p.m. The exhibition, curated and designed by Karakusevic Carson Architects, brings together 25 projects by 20 practices to showcase the best new affordable housing in Europe.

Originally debuted at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London and based on a 2017 publication of the same name, Social Housing captures some of the best and most innovative examples of public and not-for-profit housing from eight European countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the U.K. The exhibition examines a range of building and dwelling typologies, emerging design approaches, and refurbishment strategies. Common to them all is the idea that there are alternatives to purely market-oriented housing provision.

Across Europe, a new generation of architecture practices are transforming affordable housing. Responding to increasing demand, changing clients, and new funding methods, architects are addressing how homes can be delivered affordably while achieving high standards of design. The projects on view in Social Housing invite housing professionals and citizens in the U.S. to rethink how and what they design and build.

New York is currently facing similar issues with the affordable housing crisis. Over the past year, the NYC Public Design Commission (PDC) has worked with the Department of City Planning, the Department of Housing Preservation & Development, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, and AIANY to find new ways of meeting the ever-increasing demand for affordable and well-designed housing. The resulting research, to be released in spring 2018 in conjunction with this exhibition, hopes to tackle the issue of affordability and provide a platform for conversation and growth. 

As PDC executive directorJustin Garrett Moore, AICP, said, “By looking closely at a range of contemporary affordable housing development models, such as those presented here, those working in housing today can establish methods by which to effect tangible change and not only produce better buildings but better serve our city.”

Paul Karakusevic of Karakusevic Carson Architects said,

“It’s an exciting time for public-sector-led housing across Europe, with great things being done by city authorities and community groups. While economics and architecture differ from country to country, what unites them all is a new confidence and ambition we haven’t seen for some time; it’s a great moment to bring these projects to New York.’

The Social Housing exhibition with its book is about raising awareness, championing great architecture and client-side processes. At a time when the City of New York is thinking about the future of its own housing provision, we hope it will generate plenty of discussion and provide a set of meaningful case studies from which to draw practical lessons from.”

The exhibition will include drawings, photographs, and 18 models of the featured projects, along with filmed interviews and a country matrix that together offer an essential guide to the wider context for social housing in Europe.

Copies of Social Housing will be available for purchase at the opening and throughout the length of the exhibition.

Featuring projects and contributions by: 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).