Free atrium display, located on level 1

Peter Barber: 100 Mile City and Other Stories

In the first ever exhibition of his work, acclaimed British architect and urbanist, Peter Barber explores the constraints and possibilities presented by London’s current housing crisis, and the role of architecture in creating a more humane city. The exhibition will include hand-made models, drawings and large-scale photographs, as well as a selection of Barber’s sketchbooks.

What to expect

'Architecture = politics' Peter Barber

The United Kingdom, and London in particular, is currently in the midst of an acute housing crisis. In London alone, there are currently 170,000 homeless people, 8,000 rough sleepers, 20,000 empty homes and 120 families losing their home each day. To satisfy demand, it is estimated that the UK needs to build around 300,000 new homes a year, but the present supply stands at around half that level. Where, and how, homes should be built is an area of intense debate.

Since establishing his practice in 1989, Peter Barber has dedicated much of his working life to designing social housing. From the award-winning Donnybrook Quarter in 2006 to recent projects in Stratford, Enfield and Finsbury Park, Peter Barber Architects has systematically demonstrated the possibility of creating high-quality, humane spaces for people to live within our increasingly dense urban environment. His 100 Mile City project has been hailed as the most provocative and characterful response to the London housing crisis, addressing the constraints of the city with verve and optimism. The Design Museum will present over twenty years of Barber’s work, taking visitors through the solutions and suggestions of an architect working at the forefront of social housing in the UK.

The display will also include Grant Gee’s film ‘The True History of the 100 Mile City’, shown for the first time.


Sponsored by Kuropatwa

Holmes road. Photo credits Morley Von Sternberg and Peter Barber

Donnybrook Quarter. Photo credits Morley Von Sternberg and Peter Barber

Ordnance Road. Photo credits Morley Von Sternberg and Peter Barber

Related talk

To mark the opening of his exhibition 100 Mile City and Other Stories, Peter Barber gives a keynote lecture on how to tackle the country's housing crisis.

Related exhibition

Home Futures

Explore today’s home through the prism of yesterday’s imagination. Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers throughout the 20th century predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change?

Background image | 100 Mile City. Photo credits Morley Von Sternberg and Peter Barber