More for Less

architects Anne Lacaton, Jean Philippe Vassal
project Social Housing, Ilôt Schoettle, Mulhouse, France
written by Ilka & Andreas Ruby


A popular belief holds that Lacaton & Vassal build their projects for half of the available budget, which is a blunt misunderstanding of their work, as in reality they clearly use up the entire budget but with it build twice the amount of space. In that sense, the very idea of Lacaton & Vassal building a social housing project seemed like a contradiction in terms. As a brainchild of the modernist doctrine of “Die Wohnung für das Existenzminimum” which was declared at the 2nd CIAM conference in Frankfurt in 1929, social housing relies on the idea of reducing square footage for the individual in the interest of granting housing to as many people as possible.