Fostering a community, adopting innovative environmental strategies and enabling the residents to thrive independently from municipal systems were the core philosophies that drove this social housing project.

Community Interventions

A wooden walkway integrates the residential spaces, cultivating a closed-circuit loop between the dwellings and increasing opportunities for residents to meet. Introducing self-built benches at regular intervals along the walkway enhances social interaction for residents. By assembling the wooden benches on-site in the wood workshop and distributing these around the site, this social intervention functions to give residents a sense of ownership and entitlement to the scheme. Each flat has external gallery access (page 10) in order to enhance neighbourly interaction between residents on different floors.  

Environmental Strategies

In the face of the climate emergency, I decided to use hempcrete as the predominant material in the secondary structure of the flats (page 6).  This material choice was intentional in displaying how hempcrete, an incredibly greener solution to more conventional building materials, could be applied to a high-density housing scheme. Further, the warm and tactile qualities of this material (page 3), create pleasant internal spaces for the residents.  

Independence & Self Sufficiency

The lean-to roofs of the flats were intentional in accommodating for a rainwater harvesting system to be in place. This intervention not only has an ecological motive in reducing strain on municipal water systems, but also enables residents to live independently, and grants them the ability to adapt to resource changes.

Conclusively, the vision for the housing scheme was not an unachievable utopia. Instead, the amenities (page 4,7) such as allotments, workshop spaces, café and library allow the residents to grow and develop within the scheme. This, paired with off-grid living, sustainable building materials and community interventions enable the residents to live self-sufficiently.