Negroni Talk #17 - 04.11.19.

The Crude The Bad And The Ugly: Why does British Housing Look So Nasty?


There is an unattractive truth about British housing: the vast majority of it is really ugly. The built environment industry is very good at heaping praise on innovative, game-changing projects with awards and extensive coverage in the media but in reality these schemes serve the smallest fraction of the population. On top of this, we are a nation obsessed with the outward appearance of our housing and ‘fitting in’ which drives planning conditions and results in mediocre responses to complex settings. And all this taking place during the one of the worst housing crises we’ve ever known!

There’s a frontier land out there of dodgy cowboy builders and racketeer businessmen. Who will ride in and save the day? Developers with a conscience who also know how to turn and profit? Architects with some backbone to stand up to their cost-cutting clients? Local authorities that have the wherewithal to game the system? It’s time to saddle up and find out…