THE DESIGN OF FUTURE RESIDENTIAL HOUSING31st May 2018
As Zaha Hadid Architects leader, Patrik Schumacher, sparks controversy with his claims that millennials don’t need living rooms, Clare PR reflects on how housing ‘ideals’ have shifted and will these new trends shake up our housing system amidst a heavily ambitious Government target?
The UK is facing its biggest residential housing shortfall on record according to new research. The ‘300,000 homes a year’ target has left all parts of the housebuilding supply chain feeling the pressure to deliver, and in light of the recent figures published by Heriot-Watt University, who can blame them?
As leaders in design and construction come together to muster fresh ideas to deliver on the promises made in Parliament, it seems not all new residential housing proposals have been met with enthusiasm. In a recent Independent article, we’ve read how #PatrikSchumacher has argued: “millennials do not need living rooms and their housing prospects would be greatly improved if size regulations were overhauled”. He claims that hotel room-sized studio flats are ideal for young professionals who lead busy lives and that we need a capitalist reform to solve Britain’s housing crisis. Schumaker also argues that the minimum size of 37m2 prevents millennials from getting on to the #propertyladder.
So, does Schumacher have a case here?
Has the industry sets itself a housing challenge which simply doesn’t cater for the lifestyles of this generation most in need?
The question is, where do we draw a line?
Admittedly, ‘shoebox’ living isn’t for everyone, despite the undeniable popularity of micro-flats/studio living that we have witnessed in recent years. Smart technology and multi-functional furniture has enabled us to design purpose-built ‘pods’ in hotly-desired locations, but at what point will this housing design become a ‘fad’?
It will be interesting to see where the sector’s priorities lie for residential homes of the future - do we build quicker, smaller units deemed more accessible to millennials or do we build ‘conventionally’ to accommodate for longevity? Either way, supply is in desperate need and it’s integral that the opportunities to shake up our housing system are sustainable, safe and reflect a quality standard of living.