To do and to undo



To do and to undo

The first photograph belongs to the home of Sir Peter Hall in Ealing, a magnificent three-storey Victorian house located in a cul-de-sac complete with galleries and garden in an area of Outer London with very low-density population. For a time, I became obsessed (in the good sense of the word) with the lectures of Peter Hall and his own personal crusade against Mayor Ken Livingstone’s plans to increase the density of residential housing in London. The spot chosen by Hall to live is simply a magnificent location, on the outskirts of the polycentric city, with density levels which he himself advocated for. Hall’s own individual preferences, his comfort and his own concept of residential dwelling are condensed into this property… When I found out where he lived, I began to understand why Hall had become the champion of sustainable suburban development, and to a certain degree, the idea became contagious. It is possible that in our collective effort to curb suburban sprawl and promote compactness, we have renounced hybrid types such as medium density Victorian homes in central areas of the city and this has caused more families to move even further away? Sometimes, when I’m working or looking for information about particular neighbourhood and trying to find out what it is like to live in the area, I’ll type the name of one of its streets into the Idealista property website and snoop around the type of houses available for rental or for sale, I look at the terraces, the views, the quantity of natural sunlight in the homes. This is hardly the most orthodox approach and is certainly less enlightened than resorting to the existing literature, but it does place me at an honest starting point, which is, would you want to live there?

 

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María Sisternas
CEO of MediaUrban

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