The Azadi social housing and welfare centre
The Azadi social housing and welfare centre comprises of two interlinked sections. The social housing is designed to accommodate Kashmiri refugees with specific spaces created to replicate traditional Kashmiri cultural activities including Tea rooms and Shisha rooms.
The Welfare centre acts as a community hub for the people of Stretford road. The space is a centre for cultural exchange and upskilling for refugees. The centre enables all cultures to freely express their individuality through performance, arts and interaction. There are key spaces that accommodate this, workshop spaces and a performance hall. The centre acts as a community collective, which in part funds the refugee housing. The centre sits at one end of the new high street on Stretford road. Strategies have been implemented to create a more interactive high street experience including painting the roads and local areas to connect spaces. For example painted lines connect all parks and green spaces along the site. Benches and skill swap pods have also been added to create areas of social interaction and integration along the high street. Along with the community collective initiative, the centre supports local businesses and invites students to use the facilities at subsidised rates.
This project is reflective of my personal agenda and intersectional approach to architecture. I am interested in community-based projects and creating spaces that reflect and celebrate different cultures rather than creating a ‘one size fits all’ style building. I believe that the core values of architecture are people and space and as a designer I aspire to understand and enhance how people interact with spaces.