The Islanded - A Reimagined Factory
Situated on the periphery of the Shrewsbury river loop, the site is on the opposite side of the railway station and overlooks the River Severn. The design seeks to create a Little City just outside the river loop which reconnects the area back to the old city through the unification of urban types. The synergy of old and new can be observed in the new Dana Prison design, preserving the historical continuity of the space while offering a contemporary function. The new urban locus recognises and embraces Shrewsbury’s arts and cultural values and in doing so, re-engage with historic craftsmanship whilst overlapping it with contemporary technologies.
The historic Dana Prison was carefully analysed and strategically demolished to pave way for new buildings on the site. The Reimagined Factory responds to the genealogical red brick and stone vernacular, producing a cohesive design with a range of individualistic buildings. The extant prison blocks are transformed into the Arts and Craft Centre where artists can work in the new studios, and the hotel where travellers can enjoy a short stay whilst they visit the site. New factory buildings are introduced at the back of the site where handcrafted ceramics, glasswork and textiles are produced.
By re-introducing water into the site, the design responds to the River Severn which was once dominant in Shrewsbury’s industrial growth. The water separates the design from the city and nurture workers while they create artisanal products, and its spatial language creates a multi-orientational experience to the design. Thus, the project curates a unique relation between place, building and activities that occupy the site, hosting a collective memory of the city.