K1 Cambridge Cohousing features in an exhibition at the RIBA, Social Housing: Definitions and Design Exemplars.

Curated by Karakusevic Carson, the exhibition and accompanying book are intended to showcase “a diverse mix of public projects led by local authorities, philanthropic scheme led by charities and collective schemes led by residents” that are “redefining what we understand to be social housing”.

Taking in projects from across Europe of many different typologies and encompassing new-build and refurbishment projects, the collection ranges beyond (although does not neglect) the typical UK conception of social housing as homes let at low rents on secure tenures to people in need. It adopts a broader and arguably more literal view of “social” as pertaining to how people live together and sustain community life, implicitly by ameliorating class, cultural and other social cleavages through a focus on and celebration of what is in common – and on how architecture and urbanism contributes to making sociable places to live rather than just housing.

The exhibition is comprised of many superb architectural models. One of the smaller and undoubtedly most beautiful is that of K1 lovingly and painstakingly built by Hugh Craft of Mole Architects, which illustrates this blog.

Social Housing: Definitions and Design Exemplars is at the RIBA until 28th May.