The Changing Face of Housing

Marquess Road Housing, Islington, London

5.Marquess Road Housing

Darbourne & Darke

This estate was designed, in contrast to 1960s tower blocks, to combine high-density city living with a series of streets and alleys, like a traditional town yet safely away from the car. However the architecture, designed to foster a cohesive local community, social interaction and 'intimate encounters', had the opposite effect, creating an alienating environment where nobody knows their neighbour.

In recent years, some of these schemes have been redeveloped. This was sometimes because the construction methods used were untested and did not prove durable. In other cases the designs themselves, particularly of the communal spaces that had replaced traditional street patterns, were seen as contributing to the social problems suffered by those living there.

Recent years have seen the growth of community involvement and consultation in the design of new housing, to better reflect people's needs. 

Today there is huge demand for new housing. Social and demographic change, along with immigration and more individuals choosing to live on their own, are contributing to a major growth in the number of households. Existing housing stock, from Victorian terraces to modernist estates, is being renovated and adapted to 21st century living and the needs of this more diverse society, offering more choices to suit varied lifestyles.



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