The volume house builders, six of whom account for over half of all new residential units built in London, are not the solution to London’s housing crisis. Whilst they have an important role to play, it is essential that smaller developers come forward, particularly to work on trickier, in-fill sites.
I am chairing a debate tonight at the Architecture Association to look at the role small developers can play in solving the housing crisis, and at how development at this scale offers the opportunity for a more nuanced approach that can result in better quality housing that meets the needs of the local community.
The event is 6pm tonight in the Lecture Hall at the Architecture Association School, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES.
The 90min discussion will be based around the principles of Roger Zogolovitch’s book “Shouldn’t We All Be Developers”, looking at an alternative to the volume house builder model of development, focusing on building on gap sites in cities and investing for long-term rather than building on Green Belt and selling land ownerships as house builders do. This will be an opportunity for the other panellists to respond to Roger’s arguments and support, or not, the case for the independent developer.
Roger Zogolovitch is an architect and developer and founder of Solidspace, independent developers working exclusively on ‘gap sites’ in Central London. Inside each Solidspace home is an open plan split-level form that provides space to eat, live and work and gives a greater sense of spaciousness. Each project pursues a consistent approach to a sculptural form of development, modelling volumes internally and externally to suit occupier and the city with imagination and equality.
Marc Vlessing is a founder Director and CEO of Pocket, London’s first private developer that focuses exclusively on delivering intermediate housing for the starter market. Pocket’s award winning housing requires no grant, is secured as affordable in perpetuity and sold outright to people on low to moderate incomes – see: www.pocketliving.com.
Finn Williams is an architect-turned-planner based in London. Finn is Regeneration Area Manager at the Greater London Authority, and the founder of public sector planning thinktank NOVUS and independent research platform Common Office. He is currently developing a not-for-profit agency to place entrepreneurial designers in local authority planning departments. twitter: @commonoffice