Students in Nottingham have been tasked with designing future council homes. To celebrate 100 years of council housing, Nottingham City Homes and the University of Nottingham have come together for one week (4th – 8th November) to look at how council housing has changed over the years and what it needs to look like in the future.
The Addison Act was passed in 1929 and paved the way for large-scale council housing in the UK, to celebrate this — NCH are working with the Department of Architecture & Built Environment at The University of Nottingham to put on a week of events and workshops.
During the week, students have been working with officers from Nottingham City Homes and taking part in lectures, presentations, discussions, visits, and spent their time designing a future council house. They have been looking at current new-builds and creating the homes of the future — focusing on the needs of residents and trying to predict technological advances.
Nottingham City Homes has worked closely with the university to help students look at examples of council housing built in Nottingham over the last 100 years, and to help students design council housing that will provide good homes for the next 100 years.
Ahead of the week long symposium and design event, students at the university have been on tours of a number of Nottingham’s council housing estates, looking at how council housing design has evolved since the Addison Act in 1919. Students met with tenants and residents who introduced the students to their homes and neighbourhoods, prior to the students interviewing residents for their project work.
The symposium has included a number of talks for students from Nottingham City Homes staff, covering the work done to build new council homes in 2019, meeting the challenges associated with reducing energy use and carbon emissions in Nottingham’s council housing, and explaining more about the wider policy environment that shapes the way council housing is delivered today.
Dan Lucas, Policy and Planning Manager at Nottingham City Homes (a former student at the University of Nottingham) said: “It’s been a pleasure to work in partnership with the team at the University of Nottingham in council housing’s centenary year. As in many other places in the country, Nottingham City has been shaped over the last 100 years by the council housing built right across the city.
“I’ve enjoyed taking architecture students to see examples of that housing and to meet some of the tenants and residents in those neighbourhoods, helping the student group learn more about what resident’s value about their homes and neighbourhoods.
“As we celebrate the centenary of the Addison Act, we’ve been able to take a good look at the important role council housing played in transforming the quality of housing available to people. As we look to the future there is no doubt that social housing has a vitally important role to play in ensuring that good quality affordable housing is available for people in the 21st Century.”
Alison Davies, Studio Tutor at the University of Nottingham, said: “Working with Nottingham City Homes has given the students the opportunity to connect some key architectural ideas of the last century with some ‘real world’ examples, and look with more educated eyes at their local environment. Collaborating with the tenants and residents over the last month has already proved transformational. I look forward to some imaginative and innovative proposals arising from the project.”
Header image shows postgraduate students working on model houses in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham.