Design for and by the user

Jason Norris

Havannatopia

Budapest has the fastest growing housing market on the planet, yet is only the 7th fastest growing in Europe. The resulting rise in rental rates has led to the low-income, ‘Budapestians’ becoming unable to move out of parental homes and an increase in homelessness. The city must grow to meet the population’s housing needs. When planning large-scale city expansions, one must consider how this growth will affect the city in the future. The creation of more density is required within the city to replenish understocked affordable housing, near local transport locations and available development land. The period of mass housing development when Budapest was under Soviet control led to housing in typical socialist modernism style; large concrete blocks lacking community, applying quick modular repetition; leading to the dehumanisation of users.
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This creates an opportunity that ARCH403 aims to address; To add hybrid typologies, increasing density, to meet understocked housing demands and improve social interaction, instilling a greater sense of community.
 The archetype for this research was located in the panellised housing estate of Havanna, an estate infamous for its high crime rates, low employment and lack of community character. Ignored by the government for decades, they have brought it upon themselves to reinvigorate Havanna, it eventually evolving into an economic hub that offers jobs for both its residents and those further afield, taking advantage of its proximity to both the city airport and the city as well as local food production supply chain; eventually rivalling the city it has been ignored by. It will aim to become a self-sustaining hub, economically, environmentally and ecologically.

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Axonometric View
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