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Configurational and morphological sustainability in social housing: The case of Cité Ouvrière in Mulhouse

Kostourou, F; (2015) Configurational and morphological sustainability in social housing: The case of Cité Ouvrière in Mulhouse. In: Karimi, KK and Vaughan, LV and Sailer, KS and Palaiologou, GP and Bolton, TB, (eds.) (Proceedings) 10th International Space Syntax Symposium. Space Syntax Laboratory, The Bartlett School of Architecture: University College London, UK.

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Abstract

While currently many large-scale residential projects are scheduled for demolition, the worldwide housing deficit is constantly increasing. Solutions for this shortage are at the moment a top priority for national governments; however since the post-war modernist utopias social housing has created a bad name for being vulnerable to vandalism and crime. Thus, the question is how to design housing for low-income population groups that will avoid deprivation in the long term. This paper explores the role of architecture and urban design in the sustainability of social housing, meaning its capability to endure any changes over time. Unlike other approaches that focus solely on the environmental aspects of sustainability, the study adopts a more comprehensive approach in order to retrieve those configurational and morphological characteristics that can contribute to spatial and social sustainability. It brings together different scales of design, from the city scale to the volumetric articulation of the housing units and different disciplines, architectural morphology, space syntax and socio-economic analysis. It also integrates the notion of time into the analysis in an attempt to develop a diachronic description of housing performance. In order to do so, an early industrial scheme of the 19th century, Cité Ouvrière is explored in the deindustrialised city of Mulhouse in France. The findings suggest that despite certain statistical indices of deprivation, the original design of Cité Ouvrière carries inherent spatial qualities that have enabled it to survive effectively despite any socio-economic upheavals: the embeddedness of its urban layout, the natural spatial ‘area-isation’ (term adopted by Hillier) of its intensified urban grid at all scales and the flexibility in the Skin and Structure (terms adopted by Brand) of its housing typologies.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Configurational and morphological sustainability in social housing: The case of Cité Ouvrière in Mulhouse
Event: 10th International Space Syntax Symposium
Location: University College London, London, UK
Dates: 13 July 2015 - 17 July 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0-9933429-0-5
Publisher version: http://www.sss10.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/wp-content/upl...
Keywords: Social housing, spatial sustainability, morphological adaptability, natural area-isation, urban embeddedness
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1490061
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