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AR July/August 2017 on Home

NL & XVW | Jo Noero | Studio Mumbai | GENS | CUHK | Lund Hagem | Lisa Shell | Lab.Pro.Fab | AHO & Kengo Kuma | Brinkworth | Charles Moore | Typology: Hotel

In the opening keynote essay, Alexander Vasudevan looks at the history of squatting and argues that this urban phenomenon points to ‘a different understanding of the home as a site of cooperation, emancipation and self-organisation’, suggesting a more sustainable understanding of the city could be reclaimed.

In today’s context of renewed housing pressure, innovative design solutions help challenge preconceived ideas about the architecture of ‘home’. 

In Amsterdam, a monumental postwar block escaped demolition to be sensitively refurbished into a complex of 500 reconfigurable units; in Mumbai, an old warehouse is transformed into a collective housing experiment inspired by historic vernacular models; in Cape Town’s most deprived neighbourhoods, a simple table-like structure hopes to trigger broader infrastructural changes.

With the Grenfell Tower tragedy still very much in our minds, Douglas Murphy’s Outrage column reminds us that ‘it took historic crisis and destruction to make society look around for new solutions’. 

And in Japan, where destruction seems ingrained in the national consciousness, the last 70 years of house architecture suggest chaos unchains creativity.

In its eighth year, the AR House awards celebrate innovation and excellence in the design of dwellings, and the summer issue features this year’s full shortlist as well as in-depth building studies of the six winning and commended projects.

Addressing China’s need to reinvigorate its countryside, the winning architects are seeking alternative solutions for left-behind villages and propose a humble but delightful anti-seismic rammed earth prototype, while the two highly commended entries, both located on islands, are striving to become part of their surrounding landscape.

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