This exhibition presents the work of acclaimed British architect and urbanist Peter Barber. It explores the constraints and possibilities presented by the United Kingdom's current housing crisis, and the role of architecture might play in creating a more humane city. Using a selection of pieces first exhibited in the Design Museum in London, the exhibition presents over twenty years of Barber's work through hand-made models, drawings and large-scale photographs, as well as a selection of Barber's sketchbooks.
The United Kingdom is currently in the midst of an acute housing crisis. Between January to March 2019 (the most recent published statistics) 70,430 households were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness – a 10.7% increase from the previous quarter. 853 of these households are in Sheffield alone, yet there are 1,929 homes across the city that have been empty for six months or more, 122 of which have been empty for more than 10 years. To satisfy demand, it is estimated that the UK needs to build around 300,000 new homes a year, but the present supply stands at around half that level. Where, and how, homes should be built is an area of intense debate.
Since establishing his practice in 1989, Peter Barber has dedicated much of his working life to designing social housing. From the award-winning Donnybrook Quarter in 2006 to recent projects in Stratford, Enfield and Finsbury Park, Peter Barber Architects has systematically demonstrated the possibility of creating high-quality, humane spaces for people to live within our increasingly dense urban environment. His 100 Mile City project has been hailed as a provocative and characterful response to the housing crisis, addressing the constraints of the city with verve and optimism.
Open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm. Also open on Sunday on 24th November only (10am-4pm) – as part of Sheffield Modern architecture weekender.
A free newspaper will be distributed at the exhibition, exploring Barber's ideas as well as stories of housing innovations in Sheffield.
Peter Barber talk
Thursday 5 December, 6pm, free – book now
The talk will take place in Peak Lecture Theatre, Owen Building, Howard Street, Sheffield Hallam University, S1 1WB. Independent bookshop La Biblioteka will also be at the event selling books featuring contributions by Peter Barber and other titles relating to housing and social architecture.
UPDATE: This talk has been rescheduled from Thursday 28 November and will now take place on Thursday 5 December.
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