My final year project explores the journeys, stories and experiences of women seeking refuge in the UK, where it is manifested through a Women Asylum Seekers' Archive and a Refugee Support Centre. The two buildings sit within the heart of Oxford Road, with links to the universities and Pankhurst Centre, to create spaces where women asylum seekers can be empowered, have their stories told and heard, celebrate the wait, receive the support they need to start anew and raise awareness about the refugee crisis and how it impacts women.
Sustainability was a key creative driver in this project which is an aspect of architecture I am interested in. The spaces and technical details have been carefully designed to minimise the overall carbon footprint of the building, with attention to systems which can reduce the building’s external energy demand as well as materiality and construction methods which minimise the environmental impact of the building.
At its core, the project aims not only to serve the needs of women asylum seekers and refugees, but has been designed to ensure that the everyday urban experiences as a women are not limited by the patriarchal social norms that have been built into our cities. These include an abundance of waiting spaces that can be used by the women, as well as technical details such as the glulam structure and perforated cor-ten sheets, which protect the intimate spaces within the buildings without obscuring the views overlooking the neighboring streets - allowing the users to see, without necessarily being seen; creating and protecting the private and intimate spaces within the public urban realm.