Our atelier focused on social housing in Withington whilst exploring themes of additional urban functions. Upon first glance, the existing scheme was monochromatic, with no sense of place or identity, and with a clear conflict on-site between the senior residents and their young teenage counterparts.
To overcome this, my proposed scheme tries to eliminate these boundaries and boost physical and mental wellbeing by reestablishing relationships with nature through urban farming and biophilia. The core value of increasing biodiversity was first implemented through tree preservation on-site, designing my way around a "no-build zone" based on calculated tree-root diameters. This then led to technical studies of non-hybrid timber structures to meet the goal of designing affordable yet high-quality housing which is also environmentally responsible.
Biophilic design is embraced on both large and small scales throughout, with various shared urban greenhouses, seasonal and herbal gardens, and nesting green facades. Additional features to encourage social interaction include a cafe, marketplace, art studio, and a daycare, creating a sense of social unity and security - qualities that were lacking in the current context. My main goal in this project was to design a neighbourhood which values collaboration in a seamless blend of nature and living, by means of sustainable strategies.