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"A New Era of Public Housing" with Paul Karakusevic

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0:00 Welcome, Dean Richard Sommer
2:43 Introduction by Graeme Stewart
6:53 Paul Karakusevic presentation
1:31:54 Q & A

This event was presented in partnership with ERA Architects and the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal.

On October 2, 2017, Paul Karakusevic presented the keynote for the Tower Renewal Action Forum. Postwar apartment towers are the backbone of Canada’s purpose-built rental stock, providing affordable housing to millions. The Tower Renewal Action Forum showcased Canadian and international perspectives on housing resilience and rehabilitation, neighbourhood transformation, and the maintenance of affordability. The Forum took place on October 5th, 2017 where community leaders, municipal, provincial and federal governments, universities, nonprofit organizations, architects, engineers, and housing advocates advanced one of Canada’s key opportunities for resilient urban transformation.

Paul Karakusevic graduated from the Royal College of Art and subsequently worked for Zaha Hadid Architects on the Cardiff Bay Opera House and a series of other major international competition projects.

In 1998, Paul established his practice and subsequently Karakusevic Carson Architects with the aim of improving design in public housing and public buildings in London and the UK. The practice has grown to over 85 people and is wholly focused on the Public Sector. They count over 10 local authorities, the Greater London Authority (GLA), Transport for London (TfL) and the Olympic Legacy as regular client groups for whom they are leading some of the most complex public projects in the UK.

Research and design led, the practice is at the forefront of a new era of public housing, and Paul is a leading advocate for the highest possible standards in social housing, resident and council-led estate refurbishment and renewal.

Their projects have won numerous national RIBA, Housing Design, New London Architecture and Civic Trust Awards and the practice has been named ‘Housing Architect of the Year’ in 2012 and 2014 and shortlisted for ‘Masterplanner of the Year’ and ‘Housing Architect of the Year’ in 2015 and 2017.

The practice is working on a series of major public works for London including leisure centres, stations, civic buildings and designs for over 10,000 new council homes.

Paul has taught extensively, but practice and building have been a paramount focus. The knowledge and understanding the practice has developed is almost unrivalled and in 2016-17, Paul has been invited to lecture / talk on the Practice’s work and Public Housing at the RIBA, the American Institute of Architects in New York and Los Angeles, the Cooper Union in NYC, the Architecture Foundation and various high profile universities in the UK, Europe and the US. In 2017 Paul co-authored a book with Abigail Batchelor for the RIBA titled ‘Social Housing: Definitions and Design Exemplars.’

As a strong believer in raising aspiration in the challenging neighbourhoods they work in, Paul is a Trustee of the Stephen Lawrence Trust, London Festival of Architecture and the Architecture Foundation and lends his support to numerous youth and young peoples’ charities and youth sports groups.

In addition to various design awards panels, Paul lends his expertise to numerous local and national major project Design Review Panels and supports the review system as an integrated part of the design process to achieve excellence in the public sector. He has been selected as a ‘Mayor’s Design Advocate,’ joining a panel of architecture and design experts who have been selected by the Mayor of London to provide design guidance to City Hall and local councils.

For more information about the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, visit us at

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