[More Homes Better Homes] Collective Architecture’s Jude Barber tells the AJ why the government should learn from Elder and Cannon’s ‘gateway to housing’
Why do you like the scheme?
The City Mission by Elder and Cannon Architects was built in 2009 to create a resource centre and refuge for the city’s homeless community in Glasgow’s former industrial quarter near the River Clyde.
I admire this crisply designed and clearly articulated building, which positively addresses its constrained urban site and context.
The elevational proportions are elegant and quietly express the key cafe and garden activities taking place at both ground and top floor respectively.
What I particularly like about this building is that the client chose to work with an exceptional architectural practice to create a graceful and positive environment for those facing particularly harsh challenges.
What could government learn from it?
This building is not a stereo-typical residential project, but is instead a gateway to housing that meets the immediate needs of the most vulnerable in our society through charitable means.
Since this building was completed in 2009 the UK has experienced ever more severe cuts to essential public services such as health, housing and welfare.
Focused investment in affordable rented housing is critical
My message to the Westminster Government is that charity alone cannot, and should not, replace their responsibility to meet the needs of all in society. Focused investment in affordable rented housing and welfare is critical and beyond urgent.
Elder and Canon Architects have also recently completed a sophisticated new housing development for long term affordable rent with New Gorbals Housing Association in Laurieston, Glasgow. This presents a great example of investment in exceptional design for affordable rent.