Amid the current housing shortages, a study has begun to investigate whether High-rise buildings could fix provide enough housing to meet demand. Tim Lewis, Birmingham City University PhD researcher is looking into post-war building techniques of building multi-story public housing between the 1950s and 1970s to decide whether it is a viable option for today’s growing shortages. These post war properties still play a role in housing today. Lewis will focus his research on Birmingham and London, seeing if the original reasons for these structures can be applied to modern day values. Solely in Birmingham, more than 400 post-war High-rise buildings were constructed over the course of 20 years. Since then around half of that number have been demolished.
Lewis’ project is set to look at architect-led mixed developments, as well as high-rises. These mixed developments were made up of lo and high-rise flats as well as maisonnettes with the purpose of creating communities. Later developments which led to higher Urban developments will also be looked at in order to evaluate the reasons, ideals and viewpoints for a high-rise developments and how that can shape the future actions taken to fight against housing shortages.
High-rise properties have divided opinion since their conception and creation as the could be representative of a welfare state or social housing. This method of building is worth considering for future builds due to the space economy that will be required to meet the growing demand for housing. It will also be worth considering redeveloping established high-rises in an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of demolishing the old structures and starting again.
With Birmingham already saying farewell to iconic Twentieth Century buildings such as Madin’s Central Library and Smallbrook Queensway development, Birmingham’s heritage is already being reassessed and views in conserving, or possibly regenerating high-rise buildings could be involved in ideas around which parts of Birmingham’s heritage should be preserved.