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A Special Issue of Design Review: Your New House

… Or would a Flat Suit You

page 88

Or would a Flat Suit You

Single-unit dwellings are ideal for the family of husband, wife and two or more children. But consider now the housing needs of the smaller family groups: the couple with only one child, the couple with no children at all, and the single person.

These are the people for whom little or no provision is made in the housing programme; yet they comprise over 40 per cent, of the population of our cities—almost one-half.

These are the people for whom a detached house standing in its own grounds is not necessarily the most practical proposition. Its maintenance is too costly in terms of time, money or ability.

These are the people who would be happy living in flats, maisonettes, or terrace houses, handy to shopping and entertainment facilities; with plenty of sunlight and fresh air, but without the unwanted responsibility of maintaining a large garden and a detached house; without the unnecessary expense of a large frontage and individual services.

Multi-unit housing development in the cities is as important to the economy of the country as a single-unit development in the suburban areas; such development has sometimes been carried out successfully in the past but it carries the stigma of the overcrowded slum with it. The need for welldesigned flats is more pressing than ever before and the people who need them most are least in a position to finance their erection. This must be a task for local or national government, or for the larger private investment agencies.

Elevator Apartment Advantages.—Fine view—maximum services—opportunity for sociability—most economic use of all kinds of equipment—lots of space around building—proximity to play areas and nursery schools—economic use of land—allows concentration. Disadvantages.—Dependence on elevator—if you wish to garden you must go, to community patches. Flats—2 and 3 Storey. Advantages.—Access to ground—little or no stair climbing—most shelter for your rent—private or community garden can be arranged. Row Houses. Advantages.—Economy in use of land, streets, utilities—private gardens—your “own four walls and a roof.” Disadvantages.—Narrow gardens—difficulty of through-access to rear except through house. Double Houses. Advantages. — Added exterior openness. Disadvantages.—More land and utilities for the same degree of real privacy. Single Dwellings. Advantages.—Many express preference for houses for family life—peace and quiet. Disadvantages.—Highest cost—spreads population, making greater distances from shops, play areas and transport.

Elevator Apartment
Advantages.—Fine view—maximum services—opportunity for sociability—most economic use of all kinds of equipment—lots of space around building—proximity to play areas and nursery schools—economic use of land—allows concentration.
Disadvantages.—Dependence on elevator—if you wish to garden you must go, to community patches.
Flats—2 and 3 Storey.
Advantages.—Access to ground—little or no stair climbing—most shelter for your rent—private or community garden can be arranged.
Row Houses.
Advantages.—Economy in use of land, streets, utilities—private gardens—your “own four walls and a roof.”
Disadvantages.—Narrow gardens—difficulty of through-access to rear except through house.
Double Houses.
Advantages. — Added exterior openness.
Disadvantages.—More land and utilities for the same degree of real privacy.
Single Dwellings.
Advantages.—Many express preference for houses for family life—peace and quiet.
Disadvantages.—Highest cost—spreads population, making greater distances from shops, play areas and transport.