ABSTRACT

A nascent community’s choice to settle in a particular location will have been determined by the topographic and climatic qualities that made it suitable as a place for them to build their lives. Social isolation is an increasing issue in towns and cities. The function of neighbourhood building blocks is at the local level where there is greatest scope for the creation of therapeutic, human-scale environments. To encourage people to congregate, places need to feel safe, be served by easily accessible social facilities and not affected by the impacts of traffic fumes and noise. The radical strategy that emerged was to reorganise the fronts and backs of the dwellings by creating traditional, ground floor street entrances with defensible front gardens that led to two-storey family homes. The ethos of ‘Mehr als Wohnen’ is the establishment of a supportive, sharing community, with thoughtfully laid-out internal and external spaces, nurtured by a committed management organisation.