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Transcript of Urban Housing
Flexibility and variability
Housing amenities and utilities
Impact of ICT on the human psyche
Mixed urban functions as factors of proximity
The visual quality of new housing
developments also has an impact on
existing communities. It is important
to try to respect and enhance the
environment for existing residents,
as well as new ones.
The dual name Herz gave to his building “Legal Illegal” refers to the two divisions to its form. The first section on the bottom floor is the ‘legal’ part of the building, confining itself calmly inside the gap provided by the two buildings that flank it. This volume is clearly defined and, as if not to distract from its neighbors, is transparent and orthogonal. As a ‘legal’ volume, it adheres to all building laws, regulations, norms, and rules, even going so far as to terrace itself in the back in order to not cover the whole site, as the development plan dictated.
Good design comes from achieving a
balanced response to all of the factors
influencing a housing scheme. It is not
easy to design an attractive, varied
and safe housing environment. Nor is
it easy to design in a way that takes
account of the natural attributes and
constraints of the site, that draws on
the distinctive characteristics of its
landscape and town scape
surroundings, that appeals to
customers, and that makes profits
for developers and landowners at
the same time
Design which creates a sense of place, mixed community and neighbourhood.
New residential developments should create a mixed neighbourhood with homes suitable for
people of different ages and economic status. An imaginative mix of housing types and sizes
is important in creating a basis for a balanced community.
- Does the development provide a range of housing choice in terms of dwelling
types, size, affordability and accessibility?
- How successfully have different types of housing been physically integrated in
the overall layout?
Access to facilities and public transport
- Has an adequate analysis been carried out of the site’s relationship to public
transport and local facilities?
- Has this analysis informed the design of the development?
- How does the provision of facilities relate to existing provision in the surrounding
Town scape and landscape
- Does the proposed development respond to its context in terms of building
heights, building lines, use of materials and the established urban grain?
- To what extent have important views of prominent buildings or landscape
features been maintained?
Streets and spaces
- Is the development based on a high quality network of streets and spaces
catering for all residents and their visitors?
- Is traffic calming an integral part of the layout design?
Travel choices and service
- Does the proposed development encourage access by all forms of travel including walking, cycling and jogging to local services?
Design for sustainability
Sustainability is a concept which should permeate the whole design process; therefore all
proposals should be able to demonstrate through a design statement how ‘sustainability’ has
been addressed in relation to factors such as transport, energy, water, biodiversity, recycled
materials and noise.
- Does the development minimize the need for use of cars?
- Does the layout provide convenient, direct, safe and attractive pedestrian and
cycle routes to access local facilities?
- Does the streets and other lighting provision incorporate low-energy lanterns/
- Does the site layout, landscaping, building design and orientation maximize
the potential energy savings from passive solar gain and provide protection
from hot and humid winds?
- Have trees, hedgerows, natural habitats and species been conserved where appropriate and protected in the development, or compensatory measures
made elsewhere ?
- Has new habitat been created in the landscape proposals?
Recycled construction materials
- Are recycled or ‘secondary’ aggregates used for bulk fill and other uses where higher specification materials are not necessary?
- If no to the above, have materials been re-used in the development or has an appropriate recycling outlet been arranged ?
- Do the housing layout and design take account of the City Waste Strategy in regard to provision of waste recycling facilities?
- Are streets, parking areas, open spaces and footpaths overlooked by dwellings?
- Are the back of block areas secure?
- Are play areas located in the view of as many dwellings as possible?
- Is there a continuity to the street frontage?
- Is there a mix of dwelling types to encourage activity throughout the day?
- Are there appropriate levels of lighting to avoid pools of darkness?
- Does the design minimise features that could be used to reduce surveillance or provide access to upper floors of buildings?
Design for Public and Private Space
Layouts should be designed so that public and private areas are clearly defined. This may be
achieved through the use of hedges, walls and gates
- Have public open spaces helped shape the urban design strategy for the site?
- Do the dwellings relate to open space in terms of their frontage and scale?
Design for privacy
Street design can influence the relationship between facing dwellings. The development of a layout should aim to balance the need for internal privacy of the home from overlooking and the need to retain good natural surveillance of the public realm.
Freestanding structures such as garages and garden walls can help define and screen private space between dwellings. The size and positioning of windows has an impact on privacy. Windows should therefore be appropriately positioned to take into account consistency and elevational rhythm.
Design for sunlight and daylight
Layouts should be designed to maximise daylight and sunlight to dwellings as far as possible.
Although housing layouts should be designed to maximise daylight and sunlight to dwellings
this should not be to the exclusion of other considerations such as privacy or the achievement
of an attractive streetscape.
Design which includes building elements
- Roof structures
- Gutters, pipes and other rainwater details
- decorative features
Design of interface elements
- Bin storage
- Cycle storage
- External lighting
- Meter boxes
- Service entries
- Inspection boxes
- Windows and glazing
- Walls, hedges, fences and gates
- Security cabins
- STP, transformers
Design of landscape elements
- Trees, flowers, grass and other planting
- Carriage ways, footways and hard landscaping
- Cycle ways and footpaths
- Steps and ramps
- Fences, walls, hedges and gates
- Inspection boxes and covers
- Street signage
- Street lighting
- Public Art
Creating high quality residential environments requires a continuing commitment to quality and
detailed design right through to the completion and handover of the scheme. Any proposed
residential layout should create a strong sense of place.
Housing flexibility and housing variability can be defined as the design of
dwelling structures with an understanding of the prospective development of the
site as well as life and social scenarios, and with the possibility of making
appropriate changes in the living environment.
If the amenities are concentrated in an appropriate form in one area, the final effect of such a solution is beneficial to the overall context of the
A node with features that benefit residents enhances the value of the residential environment while enhancing its readability and clarity.
Flexible adaptation of
the living unit reflecting the changes in the family.
One of a series of houses, often of similar or identical design, situated side by side and joined by common walls.
A variable apartment is a dwelling with a layout that allows for certain simple, inexpensive modifications without changing the total area of the apartment. A variable apartment allows the change of layout through inexpensive modifications to the overall building.
Advantages of row housing:
Rational and faster construction of units
Easy to multiply and expand when necessary
capability of joining units leads to well balanaced ratio of living space, surface area and volume and proves to be efficient.
Internal road system minimizes impact on neighbourhood roads
Cluster development to maximize open space to retain and introduce trees
Maximize efficiency of services
Provide high quality common open space and amenities
Sheik Sarai Housing, Delhi - Raj Rewal
This low-rise high-density scheme for 550 units is designed on the basis of self-financing scheme for Delhi Development Authority. It segregates pedestrian and vehicular movement and provides for interlinked square of varying scales for community activities. All the units have been provided with courtyards or roof top terraces. .
CIDCO Housing built in New Bombay in 1998 faces the challenge of providing low cost housing for approximately 1000 units in Bombay. Proliferation of slums in Indian cities is a common feature. Most of the tenements built in this complex are of one or two rooms. Creation of a humane habitation for very large numbers at the minimum cost was an exceptionally difficult problem. Building for large numbers is like writing a long novel. War and peace can be read through from the beginning to end with its different chapters and sub-plots sustaining interest. Similarly, the Mahabharta is a string of stories woven into the fabric of one major composition. The challenge of mass housing, likewise, can be either approached like one long story or as a series of interconnected episodes. Instead of building large monolithic parallel blocks of grim dimensions, we opted for a different kind of settlement pattern. The design for the large number of dwelling units is fragmented into smaller aggregations enclosing a variety of spaces, which can be cohesively arranged on the sloping site of a hillock and strung together with pedestrian pathways.