The New Standard House

31 May 2016

Regular hours

08:00 – 17:30

Cost of entry

£9.50 Standard / £6.50 RIBA Members and Friends

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Travel Information

  • Great Portland Street / Oxford Circus / Regent's Park
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Panel discussion exploring ideas in two exhibitions: Home Economics at the British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale and At Home in Britain: Designing for the House of Tomorrow at RIBA.


Terraces, Semis, Estates, and Prefabs; Britain’s innovations in domestic architecture have been more about standard house types than exceptional examples. From the conception of the terrace house by Robert Hooke in 1666, to the evolution of the ‘semi’ in mid 18th century, and from pioneering public housing estates in the 1890s to the world’s first pre-fabricated apartment blocks in the early 1900s, British designs for standard types have had a far-reaching influence beyond the UK. We still live in them today.

But with profound changes to our patterns of domestic life, how far are these standard types still relevant today? Shifts in demographics, technology and inequality are increasingly challenging traditional assumptions about family structures, the way we work, privacy and ownership. A multi-faceted housing crisis calls into question whether we can rely on established models of design and delivery. What might Britain’s next great innovation in housing look like? What is the new standard house?

A panel discussion chaired by Catherine Slessor with Finn Williams, Jack Self and Shumi Bose (curators of the British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2016), Anna Holsgrove (RIBA), Alex Ely (Mæ) and Magnus Casselbrant (Hesselbrand).

This debate will bring together shared themes and ideas explored in two concurrent exhibitions: Home Economics at the British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale and'At Home in Britain: Designing the House of Tomorrow'at RIBA.

A partnership between The British Council and RIBA.

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