We are very pleased to report that our “Social Ecologies” proposal for Milton Keynes site in Europan 9 Competition has received a commendation.
The project explored social structures and an approach to tenure rather than architecture or built form. Housing is grouped in small courts with shared community gardens and clustered communal resources. The jury welcomed this holistic consideration and positive vision for medium density housing in the 21st century.
The Milton Keynes Social Ecology by WAG is an urban cohousing permaculture project, aimed at meeting a growing niche demand in the housing market. The proposal is an opt-in community for individuals and families who want to take the next step in sustainable modern living. The Social Ecology is organised through the collective ownership and management of a community freehold, with private leaseholds for dwellings. There are shared car pools, rather than private car ownership, and instead of roads, a network of cycle routes and footpaths cross the site. There is an ecology of green spaces – from public to private. The dwellings are clustered into groups of twenty units, organised around a linear public park, permaculture based community school, market hall and democratic billboard mediaspace. Each co-housing cluster overlooks shared garden, organic food growing and playground spaces. The individual dwelling units are organised around private courtyard gardens, which are treated as an external living rooms.
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Europan is a biennial competition for young architects and urban design professionals, under 40 years of age, to design innovative housing schemes for sites across Europe.