Housing in London

Ten great ideas to boost London’s housing supply

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Back in July, New London Architecture and the Mayor of London called for bright ideas to increase the number of new homes built in the capital. Below the Mayor's housing team fill us in on the shortlisted ideas.

The availability of homes is one of the greatest challenges facing our city today. The competition invited people to send in an idea to improve the number, speed and quality of new homes being built in London.

We were delighted to receive 200 entries from across the world. There were ideas from renowned architects, developers and consultants. There were also ideas from local boroughs and Londoners. From these, 100 were shortlisted by the expert panel. This was then whittled down to just ten winners.

You can see all the winning and shortlisted ideas for free at the New Ideas for Housing exhibition at the NLA galleries in The Building Centre from 15 October to 17 December. Find out more.

The winners will be invited to City Hall to talk about how their ideas can be put into practice.

Winning entries

The Urban Darning Project by Patrick J.A. Massey, CZWG

Idea: Urge local councils to work with architects and planners to find suitable sites where there are gaps in the ‘urban fabric’.

Housing over public assets by Bill Price, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

Idea: Build apartments above existing public buildings, such as hospitals, schools and libraries. London could gain up to 630,000 homes this way.

Supurbia by HTA Design LLP

Idea: Turn London’s suburban main streets and parades into mixed-use places with more housing and amenities, and empower owner-occupiers to develop their land.

Intimate Infrastructures by Natasha Reid Design

Idea: Speed up the number of new homes for private renters through purpose building modular shared housing.

Buoyant Starts by Floating Homes Ltd with Baca Architects

Idea: London’s waterways cover 50 miles of river and canal. This underused space could host up to 7,500 pre-fab floating starter homes.

Investing in London’s Future by Learning from its Past by David Kroll

Idea: Separating the cost of land from the physical housing sitting on it could make homes cheaper to build and more affordable to Londoners.

Mega Planning, Beyond 2050 – MegaPlan for a MegaCity by GL Hearn part of Capita Ltd

Idea: There is 86,000 hectares of green belt land within the M25. Building on just four per cent of this ‘edge land’, could meet London’s shortfall in housing.

ATAL Opportunity Areas by Brendan Cuddihy, Arup, and Rupesh Varsani, Craigewan

Idea: London’s housing density is limited by the amount of local public transport. Refocusing on ‘active transport’ could lead to more homes being built.

Making more with less: unlocking leftover land for generation rent by Pitman Tozer, LB Enfield and Naked House

Idea: A new housing provider which builds affordable intermediate homes on council-owned sites. This project could create over 100,000 homes by 2025.

Wood Blocks by dRMM Architects

Idea: Provide a basic shell for creating homes and encourages self-building. This could cut the costs of building new homes by 40 per cent, and build time by a quarter.