Can Gendered Architecture be subverted in order to connect, celebrate, and empower transgender lives?
This project explores the relationship between transed and trans space where transed is ‘safe’ and trans is ‘exhibition’.
It is transgender homeless accommodation (transed), a transgender arts centre (trans) and the threshold in between.
It caters for the 25% of transgender people who experience homelessness but who are not made to feel safe, secure, or welcome in traditional shelters. Alongside this it recognises the importance of performance,exhibition and celebration to project acceptance outwards. It is both transed and trans space; sheltered space and exhibition space; quite and loud; anonymous and proud.
Based in the centre of Manchester, it questions the gendered nature of the city with its ever-growing skyline. The aim is to subvert gendered architecture with a building which competes with its surroundings in terms of height but remains genderless, celebratory, and safe.
It does this through the transgender design toolkit, a set of feminist tactics which were developed throughout the early stages of project research. These are:
Genderless Space - met by breaking the traditional monolithic shape of a high-rise building.
Adaptability - achieved with the structural system which allowed for a mixed grain of transed and trans spaces, as well as the ability for the building to grow and shrink as needs changed
Subtle Anonymity - can be seen through the multiple routes into, past and through the building.
Celebration - found not just in the existence of the performance and exhibition spaces in the programme but also the architectural language these spaces use which is loud, proud and unapologetic.
Thresholds - most obvious at ground level as people enter through different routes.
Outreach - seen as the building bridges the road and railway.
Participation - achieved by the lights which project onto surrounding gendered development.