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Social and Affordable Housing is a Course

Social and Affordable Housing

Started Apr 12, 2022

$110 Enrol

Full course description

The modules are based on an attitude towards social and affordable housing presented by Pritzker prize winning architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal at the inaugural Rothwell Chair Symposium in April 2021. This course will give you an insight to one current philosophy of design and an attitude towards social and affordable housing. The modules will look closely at Lacaton and Vassal’s social housing projects as examples of successful implementation of their approach at; Maison Latapie, Mulhouse, Grand Parc Bordeaux, Saint Nazaire and Maison Cap-Ferrat.

Aware that social and affordable housing is a complex problem with multiple stakeholders and a nuanced history, this course presents the current philosophy of Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal as a precise approach that could be used to raise some interesting questions in the Australian situation. Like Lacaton and Vassal, this course views housing through the tradition of the Modernist era towards an interest in user engagement, generosity, climate and ideas around ‘freedom of use’.

The masterclass draws on content from the 2021 Rothwell Chair Symposium. Photos courtesy of Philippe Ruault. 

Course Outline



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15 min to complete


  • The Rothwell Chair 4 min
  • Location & Vassal 5 min
  • Warm up activity 5 min



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45 min to complete

”Build Simple”

  • What does it mean to live in the city today? 5 min
  • On Housing 5 min
  • ”Build Simple” 9 min
  • Case Study 1: Maison Latapie 4 min
  • Case Study 2: Mulhouse 10 min
  • Reflection 10 min



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1 hour to complete

”Build Double”

  • Freedom of Use 7 min
  • Case Study 3: Saint Nazaire, La Chesnaie 7 min
  • Transformation 4 min
  • Case Study 4: Grand Parc Bordeaux 16 min
  • Pitching Grand Parc Bordeaux 7 min
  • Consensus through Precision 8 min
  • Reflection 10 min



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50 min to complete

”Build With”

  • ”Build With” and Case Study 5: Maison Cap Ferrat 6 min
  • Build With Paris Plus 9 min
  • Paris Plus in Bordeaux 5 min
  • Build With Inhabitants 7 min
  • Build With Climate 4 min
  • Activity 5 min
  • Quiz (6 questions)

Learners will:

  • Develop awareness of some key ideas concerning social and affordable housing and the contemporary city
  • Be able to locate such strategies within the built work of Lacaton and Vassal
  • Gain a deeper understanding of Lacaton & Vassal’s architectural and urban approach to housing
  • Identify principal ideas which can expand how architects can think through current housing problems

AACA Competency:

  • 2. Design: Pre Design
    • 2.1 Identification, analysis and integration of information relevant to siting of project.
    • 2.2 Application of principles controlling planning, development and design for the project site.
    • 2.3 Evaluation of factors influencing and impacting on project cost.
    • 2.6 Preparation and analysis of project development options in response to project brief.
  • 3. Design: Conceptual Design
    • 3.1 Design response integrates the objectives of brief, user intent and built purpose.
    • 3.2 Application of creative imagination, aesthetic judgement and critical evaluation in formulating design options.
    • 3.3 Design response incorporates assessment of the physical location and relevant wider regional, contextual and environmental issues.
  • 4. Design: Schematic Design
    • 4.2 Evaluation of design options against values of physical, environmental and cultural contexts.
    • 4.3 Application of creative imagination aesthetic judgement to produce coherent design.
  • 5. Documentation: Detailed Design
    • 5.1 Application of creative imagination and aesthetic judgement in producing a resolved project design in regard to site planning, physical composition and spatial planning as appropriate to the project brief.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at professionals employed in the architecture and urban planning industries seeking an introduction into one current philosophy of design and an attitude towards social and affordable housing, through the lens of Pritzker Prize award winners, Lacaton & Vassal. The target audience falls in to two main categories; professionals, as these people require the knowledge for their profession and development, and students who choose to take this course for interest and access to experts in the field.


There is one structured assessment task included to genuinely test participants’ understanding of content. The assessment task in this course is delivered as self-marked online quizzes and is located at the end the last module.

Questions? Feedback?

Email if you have any questions, comments or feedback about this course or our Open Studio masterclasses.

Content Specialist

Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal

Inaugural Rothwell Co-Chairs

Lacaton & Vassal is based in Paris and created in 1989, has an international practice, working on public buildings, housing and urban planning. All the projects are based on a principle of generosity and economy, serving the life, the uses and the appropriation, with the aim of changing the standard and a strong commitment for sustainability and social impact.

Working carefully with climate and everything already there, reuse, transformation instead of demolition and always restarting from the empty, is also a principal of the office’s attitude.

Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal were selected as the 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates.


Start Learning Today

  • Full Price:


  • Course Length:

    3 Hours

  • Delivery Mode:

    Online, self-paced

  • CPD:

    3 Formal Points