The Architecture of Affordable Housing

The Architecture of Affordable Housing

Author(s): Sam Davis

Publisher: Univ California Press

ISBN: 0520208854

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The Architecture of Affordable Housing

Paperback, 220 pages
Publication date: June 1997

From Booklist , 04/15/95:
The architecture of affordable housing has assumed as many forms as the very nomenclature. Davis presents a history of poor, low-income, social, and subsidized housing using examples of Frank Lloyd Wright, the WPA, and contemporary case studies in the most expensive state in the union, California. These examples illustrate that while the beliefs surrounding affordable housing have changed, the need has been steady, if not growing. They also illustrate many myths, one being that affordable housing most often isn’t any cheaper to build than market-rate housing. The in-depth documentation of the community planning process shows just how passionate the contesting parties are and how complex the issues have become. While not offering Wright’s technical secrets on cost cutting, the California case studies lend the book a credibility from which both laypeople and architects can benefit. But, ultimately, the 10 award-winning projects the author presents as evidence of good architecture fulfilling a social need skirt the real issue: Why is it that award-winning projects can turn into unlivable places and that less attractive ones can be wonderful places to live? While the book is valuable, Davis does not address the issue of place-making and community, which many believe is the heart of the affordable housing crisis. Copyright© 1995, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Synopsis:
Architect Sam Davis contends that a country of wealth that cannot provide sound housing for those in need is a national embarrassment. Here Davis explores the design possibilities of dignified affordable housing for those not served by the private sector and how that housing could fit comfortably into our communities. 108 illus.

Table of Contents
Introduction
1. The Architect and Affordable Housing
2. The Process: The Long and Winding Road
3. Why Affordable Housing Isn’t
4. Design: Things Big and Small, Far and Near
5. Is Affordable Housing Significant Architecture?
Afterword
Notes
Illustration Credits
Index

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