Alex Lifschutz, Alison Brooks and Matthew Lloyd discuss ‘My London Vernacular’

Friday 26 June 2009

This morning, NLA invited three key architects renowned for their work in housing design to speak at a free breakfast talk on the subject of ‘My London Vernacular’.

When Mayor Boris Johnson published the draft London Plan in April of this year, he set out plans to develop a “new London vernacular in housing development”. NLA asked Alex Lifschutz of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Alison Brooks of Alison Brooks Architects and Matthew Lloyd of Matthew Lloyd Architects to start a discussion about what a new vernacular for housing means for London, and to discuss what relevance it has to the design of housing in the capital.

Key themes that emerged throughout the morning included familiarity, adaptability, durability and scale.

Starting off the discussion was Alex Lifschutz who called for more flexible housing types – describing vernacular housing as that which results from the actions of multiple authors and responds to the changing needs of its inhabitants.

Alison Brooks defined vernacular housing as that which is high-quality and adaptable. She drew upon the Victorian terrace, the mansion block at Maida Vale, and the Accordia development in Cambridge as examples of housing that respond to the domestic streetscape and create a robust framework for the city.

Finally, discussing the variable housing styles that have emerged over the past ten years, Matthew Lloyd drew on the recently completed Bishops Square as an example of housing that relates to its context in material and scale.

Click here to download the presentations.

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