Core Conversations: How do you make a Cosy Home?

How can architects, developers and builders make spaces that reflect our shifting needs and make us feel good about our lives? How can responsible house-building keep cities colorful, layered and full of life?

Does intelligent social housing always have to be at the expense of good architecture? How do you keep young people living in cities? How do you ensure houses are lived in, not used solely as investment tools? And what happens when you step inside and you close the door? How do our homes need to evolve to reflect our needs and those of our families? We have to ask these questions if we want cities that tick along with ease and cohesion.

At the heart of our work is the belief that you can make affordable homes in the center of the city that are also well and robustly designed. Its instructive to look at cities like Zurich where at Kalkbreitestrasse a visionary take on communal housing has created a community of residence who all ‘chip in’ to its upkeep in order to keep rents low. The Japanese project ‘the share’ where in order to live in the heart of Tokyo, residence live in smaller homes with shared spaces for entertaining, socializing and doing laundry.

Shared space at 'The Share', Tokyo Japan. Architects -- ReBITA. 2012

How do we get people living together, seeing the world afresh and not in gated worlds? There are of course challenges beyond social mix and affordability. As the shapes of families fluctuate and our home-work balance shift – how can architects developers and builders make spaces that reflect our changing needs? And how can we make homes that make us feel good about our lives? Safe and satisfied, nourished, across every sector we need to be building homes that stand the test of time, and use materials that will cope with the odd knock. We need homes that are adaptable and able to provide both high-speed connectivity and places to escape. We need a fresh manifesto for home making a new appreciation for that place called home. – Morris, T., Monocle. 2015