October 22, 2014
In recent years, our designs have responded to the increasing housing demand, rising land values, new policies and regulations, changing market preconceptions and influences from overseas. Many of these changes are, to some extent, either the cause or the consequence of an increase in housing development densities and the consequent shift of home building from houses to flats. While this trend developed long ago, it was only four years ago that the Mayor of London’s Housing Design Guide (LHDG) was first published. This document offered the first spatial criteria for residential developments since the abolition of the Parker Morris standards in 1981.
Today, flat layouts in the capital are strongly influenced by compliance not only to the LHDG, but also the local authority’s own requirements, Lifetime Homes, Code for Sustainable Homes and other standards. However, the attention that these standards have brought to the size, spatial qualities and environmental sustainability of flats has rarely extended to communal areas, beyond the guidance on the adequate provision of amenity space. It is only the recent rise of Private Rented Sector (PRS) developments that has put communal areas in the spotlight.