Archive: a housing chronology.

Archive: a housing chronology looks at the how UK housing space standards have developed through history and examines the way in which gender roles, around the home, are enforced through design.

The journey through this archive begins at Oxford Road. Visitors are led through a chronological landscape design that represents different periods of suburban gardens. Different focal points within each time period provide space away from the bustle of the city, university and hospital.

The internal archive space is made up of a series of 1:1 scale depictions of the ground floors of different housing standards. Visitors to the archive are able to walk around, through and above these “sets” and view them from different perspectives. Space standards are defined by political ideas that manifest within the hierarchy of spaces – the positioning of rooms from one other – and the stereotypes that are connected with these areas. For example, decisions to keep kitchens small, so they are an efficient space for the use of one person, began so women could reduce the time they spent preparing meals. This meant they were able to work outside of the home and still have time to make dinner in an evening.

This project is reflective of my personal agenda and intersectional approach to architecture – encouraging people to gain a greater understanding of the built environment. The 1:1 scale depictions of plans and sections provides a different way of presenting architectural drawings. The simple framed structures are an accessible way of bringing the spatial qualities of drawings to life. They enable the general public, those visiting the archive, to understand the conventions taught throughout architectural training and therefore reduce the impact of ‘skilled visions’ within the urban environment.