Real Estate Architecture Laboratory

REAL recognises architecture as a common concern

REAL makes transparent the forces shaping our cities

REAL promotes alternative models of ownership

REAL believes in spatial equality and civic freedom

REAL offers resources to support cultural production

REAL acts as a platform for collaborative research

REAL proposes new frameworks for design thinking

REAL insists on building as the means to an end

REAL works beyond tradition and the status quo

REAL engages positively with those in power

REAL is a London-based cultural institute and architectural practice founded by Jack Self in 2016.

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REAL asks the question, “what does it mean to live today?” We promote inclusivity and social equality through the built environment. We specialise in alternative models of housing ownership and the design of project finance.

REAL’s projects include exhibitions, publishing and architecture. Our partners and clients are cultural and financial institutions, developers, housing associations, private companies, and a broad network of architects, artists and designers.

REAL publishes Britain's foremost contemporary culture magazine Real Review, in creative partnership with OK-RM. Real Review is award-winning, and was featured in the Design Museum's 2017 Design of the Year Awards.

REAL curated the British Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale with Home Economics, for which we also published the catalogue. Other publications include Three Found Models, Symbolic Exchange and Mies in London, amongst others.

REAL's architectural work includes projects for the 2017 Chicago Biennale and Maxxi in Rome, cohousing schemes in Britain and New Zealand, mortgage products for national banks, and private homes.

REAL understands architecture as a spatial practice, and real estate as a manifestation of complex social, political and economic power relations. REAL is focussed on how property and ownership, forms of labour, and our management of time affect our everyday lives.

REAL is a collaborative organisation, with light bureaucracy and minimal overheads. Wherever possible it seeks to utilise the existing structures of its partners to reduce redundancy, improve productivity, foster inclusivity, and promote collective enquiry. It is above all dedicated to the highest quality of intellectual and creative output.

REAL foundation
Raised Ground Floor, 18 Parkhill Road
London NW3 2YN


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Registered address:
18 Parkhill Road, London NW3 2YN
Company number: 10138381

Design: OK-RM, London
Programming: Benedict de Silva