NEIGHBOURHOOD NETWORKS


URBAN STRINGS

Location: North Lawndale, Chicago, USA
Client: Chicago Architectural Club
Collaborator: Adam Lubinsky

[ URBAN DESIGN / EDUCATION / HOUSING ]
[ 0521 ]

Competition for new housing in Lawndale, Chicago, USA. The scheme proposes urban ‘strings’ of new mews-like streets threading across Chicago’s wide grey-stone street grid, bringing much-needed density and services to the impoverished Lawndale area. Lined with economical low rise housing, the strings align to form protected routes to proposed schools at the neighbourhood scale.

 
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The Neighbourhood Network asserts that the combination of family housing and strong schools creates sustainable neighbourhoods. This proposal develops a site-specific strategy for a pedestrianised network of new family housing and small schools as a means to supporting North Lawndale's diverse population of many cultures and incomes. 

The Neighbourhood Network begins with an urban increment that links through and across city blocks with the development of clusters of vacant lots. This increment reinvents the "mews" - originally stables created behind the houses facing the street. While mews have historically been converted into houses, this proposal makes the modern mews an essential element in linking clusters of family housing along walkable paths to neighbourhood schools. 

The mews has been applied in three variations.

1

The first variation is a string of two-storey family units. These units form an intimate social grouping of homes overlooking a pedestrian route through the block with new pocket parks at the block's perimeter. Each two-storey unit is efficiently designed to contain three bedrooms and a terrace garden with the potential to expand upward.

2

The second variation utilises the mews for family housing and where there are additional vacant lots adjacent to the mews employs L-shaped apartment buildings along the street-front. These buildings, employing unit types for singles and couples, would begin to fill out the blocks. 

3

The third variation employs the mews for new schools. Drawing from the 'Small Schools' movement, these schools - for 200 students and grades K-4 or 5-8 - would link to the new housing and be open to all residents. Each school would offer a unique facility, allowing public use and fitting within a network of services shared by surrounding existing schools.


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URBAN STRATEGIES

Location: Dover, Kent, UK
Client: Urban Practitioners

[ URBAN DESIGN ]
[ 0515 ]

Analysis and masterplan strategies setting out urban principles for Dover, together with a sequence of site studies along the two main spinal routes of the central district.

The studies and recommendations are for a variety of urban elements including built form, open space, axes and sight-lines, water, vegetation, and not least, the extraordinary local topography.


CANAL REGENERATION

Location: Gravesend, Kent, UK
Client: Urban Practitioners

[ URBAN DESIGN ]
[ 0412 ]

 

Urban analysis, scenario testing, and outline regeneration scheme for the canal basin and north east Gravesend.


CITY CIRCLE

Location: Stoke-on-Trent, UK
Client: Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Collaborators: Area Landscape Architects, Spiers & Major Lighting Designers, Elliot Wood Structural Engineers, Cyril Sweett Cost Consultants
Contract Sum: £1M

[ URBAN DESIGN / LANDSCAPE DESIGN / EDUCATION }
[ 0623 ]

Short-listed competition entry for the complete redesign of Stoke-on-Trent’s central city street-scape and squares. The scheme proposes strong landscape rejuvenation, clarified city quarters, and a central circular viewing tower from which to appreciate the unique Staffordshire topography.


BIODIVERSITY NETWORK

Location: Haringey, London, UK
Client: London Borough of Haringey via the RIBA 

[ URBAN DESIGN / LANDSCAPE DESIGN }
[ 1001 ]

Competition entry for the introduction of biodiversity corridors through an existing housing estate to connect fragmented pieces of ancient woodland.


RESEARCH . NEIGHBOURHOOD NETWORKS

Image source: Carte marine de l’ocean atlantique Nord-Est Biblioteque national de France website

Image source: Carte marine de l’ocean atlantique Nord-Est
Biblioteque national de France website

Image source: J and S. Hensens. 1972. Les equipments structurants de l’espace social. Maroc. Ministere de l’urbanisme.

Image source: J and S. Hensens. 1972. Les equipments structurants de l’espace social. Maroc. Ministere de l’urbanisme.

THE MEDINA

“The new urban spaces generated by the European colonial cities in the North Africa preserved the technological and social values of their European origins and initially constituted exogamic urban forms. However, the Muslim religion’s scope was universal, and tended to overcome the historical, cultural and topographical differences between the civilizations. According to the Islamic law, every city irrelatively of its size, age, topography or geographical position could potentially be considered a medina as long as its population was devoted to Islamic ideology. Nowadays, the word Medina generally defines a labyrinthine city, culturally more neutral and free from territorial conflicts. The word also signifies a sense of a European timeless community or an humanistic post industrial space in contrast with a mechanized urban space which is characterized by the high concentration of local power”

 

The origins of the medina of Marrakech
Loukia Iliopoulou,  UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2013/14  -
 Google satelite map, 2013, 1/12/2013

 

'New Ground'  Nithita Fongtanakit, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2012/13

'New Ground' 
Nithita Fongtanakit, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2012/13

NEW GROUND

Location: Tangier, Morocco
Research Student: Nithita Fongtanakit, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2012/13

[ RESEARCH / URBAN DESIGN ]

A network of public facilities for supporting women in the current structure of the city, distributed in response to variations in population density. The interventions provide new spaces for gathering and job creation, education, discussion and social interaction. The interventions are not centrally superimposed but respond to existing organisations and settings already identified within the city to provide facilities, funding, management and self-organisation. The network structure will form a co-operative to provide economic, labour and educational exchanges.

'Claiming New Territory' Iulia Fratila, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2012/13

'Claiming New Territory' Iulia Fratila, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2012/13

CLAIMING NEW territorY

Location: Tangier, Morocco
Research Student: Iulia Fratila, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2012/13

[ RESEARCH / URBAN DESIGN ]

Along the Northern coast of Morocco there are multiple boundaries and areas with different “jurisdictions“. Physical and social conditions emerge from these: urban sprawl near the free-zones, new neighbourhoods built through remittances, and for many, a lack of engagement with the city.

 

 

Apartment B / Le Corbusier  Image source: http://blog.houseplans.com/tag/lecorbusier/

Apartment B / Le Corbusier 
Image source: http://blog.houseplans.com/tag/lecorbusier/

The typology of the watchtowers existed in the past on the Southern coast of Spain, Cadiz and Northern coast of Morocco. They were the first thing the travellers arriving by sea could see, and contributed to the colourful and distinctive silhouette of the city. In the eighteenth century, all the respected traders would build their own lookout tower as an addition to the house so they could see when their ships arrived in the port.

A network of new towers is proposed to be inserted in the existing fabric of the Medina, as an initial phase for the network. The used plots will either be vacant lots, houses in ruins or normal houses if the necessity for a community centre exists in the area.

Having a social programme, the capacity and the destination of the interior space has to suit the neighbouring population density, income, ethnicity and interests. 

The interior space and its destination will suit the necessities of the neighbouring area - they will be created and tuned to fit the community they serve.

The lower floors (the old house) will provide a connection with the street activity and will be integrated in the general atmosphere of the place. This will make the new building a natural continuation of the public space in the street, having commercial or leisure activities. Relating to the Moroccan tradition, these space will have higher ceilings and small floor areas. 

The upper floors will accommodate more public spaces which can receive a larger number of people with activities such as: learning rooms, gathering space, small libraries, internet access rooms, etc. The open-air room on the top will create the visual connection with the other towers and with the territory.

VIEW POINT

Location: Tangier, Morocco
Research Student: Ester Fernandez Aragones, Ni Nyoman Dewi, UCL BPro MArch UD RC12 2013/14

[ RESEARCH / URBAN DESIGN ]

Tangier has for most of the last decade operated as a border, a place of transition between Africa and Europe. In recent decades it has been the site of mass migration for those wishing to flee Africa for the economic possibilities of Europe. Since the global financial crisis, and focussed strategies from the Moroccan Monarchy, Tangier has seen a shift in these migratory pattern which has seen it become a destination.

The proposal seeks to integrate the migrants into the heart of Tangier both economically and geographically by setting up a network of facilities both for the migrants and for the state to aid this integration. THe networks form routes that are located around key public gathering spaces geographically located such that Tangier’s position between the Strait of Gibraltar and The Atlas mountain can be read and understood.


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