The Architecture of Affordable Housing

The Architecture of Affordable Housing

by Sam Davis

Paperback(First Edition)

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That a country of wealth cannot provide sound housing for those in need is a national embarrassment. This book is about the design of dignified, affordable housing for those not served by the private sector, and how that housing fits comfortably into our communities. Sam Davis has written an accessible, non-technical analysis for everyone interested in the creation of affordable housing. Through discussions of cost, politics, and design concepts, as well as case studies of completed projects, he gives solutions to the dilemmas posed by the development process.

Good housing design is a delicate balance of community values, individual needs, esthetic judgments, and technical requirements. Good design can save money—seventy percent of the cost of a new dwelling is affected by planning and design. As a key ingredient in community building, housing should bestow on its inhabitants a sense of dignity, says Davis. To view this as a privilege for those who can afford market-rate housing invites both social and financial disaster. He also considers our national obsession with the single-family house and our historical ambivalence toward subsidized housing—attitudes that have often led to the stigmatization of low-income groups.

This book will be indispensable to community and volunteer groups, local governments, financial backers, architects, planners, and students in related fields.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520208858
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 06/25/1997
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Sam Davis is Professor and Chair of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and editor of The Form of Housing (1977). He is Principal of Davis and Joyce Architects and has won numerous design awards and housing competitions.

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Architecture of Affordable Housing 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
David_Hoicka More than 1 year ago
The Architecture of Affordable Housing is a thoroughly researched 208 page book which focuses on affordable housing in the USA, with occasional comparison examples from other countries such as Canada, France, and Italy. Sam Davis' book has illustrations on most pages, consisting of scores of photographs, building plans, neighborhood plans, 3d schematics, all carefully chosen to illustrate his analyses. He defines affordable housing as 'housing that receives direct or indirect financial assistance' such as subsidy, grant, tax credit, or land donation. He compares American affordable housing, with the European concept of 'social housing', which 'implies that a responsible and humane society has an obligation to assist those of its members who could not otherwise have decent housing. Sam Davis, a Professor of Architecture at University of California Berkeley, first discusses the function of the architect in affordable housing, as a reformer, a community activist, community development corporations, and discusses various goals and strategies for affordable housing design. Next, he discusses the actual process of creating affordable housing, including the conduct of public meetings, the development process, the 'ripple effect' of individual design decisions on other aspects of a program, grassroots activities, building by consensus, planning board meetings, NIMBY, economic financial and political negations to achieve a positive outcome. Davis next discusses issues regarding creation of affordable housing, such as cost and durability factors, community, site issues, prefabrication issues, contractors, regulations and codes, societal values and expectations for affordable housing. Next, he reviews a variety of affordable housing projects, comparing and contrasting, discussing issues such as density, design, attached or separate, materials and forms, planning for community, 'making small seem large', flexibility, ornamentation and detailing, automobiles and pedestrian paths, including several detailed case studies. In a significant part of the book, Davis rhetorically asks the question, 'is affordable housing significant architecture?' and discusses 'excellence and affordable housing' with numerous detailed examples, including photographs and plans. Sam Davis' The Architecture of Affordable Housing, is a significant book for every affordable housing practitioner, and well worth its purchase. Davis has numerous significant thoughts and recommendations which are timely and useful for affordable housing creation. By David Hoicka Paperback: 208 pages Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (18 Jun 1997) Language English ISBN-10: 0520208854 ISBN-13: 978-0520208858