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Hema Ganesan

MA work

Brick by Brick by Brick

Following the scrapping of social housing provision by the state in the Thatcher era, housing associations and private enterprise and have dominated house building, however they have not taken up the shortfall left by the state’s absence. Recently, there have been signs that local authorities and other actors are ready to actively engage in housing provision again. Acknowledging that the landscape of housing provision has irrevocably changed, how can a more civically minded notion of housing co-exist with what is now a predominantly market led production of space?

The proposal uses the London Borough of Croydon as a backdrop for the intervention capitalising on the work of an enterprising local council in order to test ideas concerning mixed tenure developments. This is expressed formally through two typologies which juxtapose the generosity of a new way of thinking about social housing against the established principles of developer-led housing.

Materiality plays an important role in the scheme with the project questioning the current trend of using brick as urban camouflage to redeem typical residential buildings in the eyes of planners and the public. In this proposal, brick is estranged and defamiliarised by altering its proportion and form, freeing it from its symbolism and preventing it from being a superficial wallpaper. 


  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture, 2017