The High Street has been declining over the years and has lost its former glory as residents began to move out of the city. However, recently, due to the increase of Young Urban Residents, the council has plans to bring in the younger generation to live in the city centre. Together with that, the current AAP denotes many new residential developments in the city centre which suggests the increase in the population in the city.
Traditionally, retail is the main anchor to a High Street and current residential development alone will not sustain the economic growth, nor will it revive the High Street. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and Leon Krier’s principles on new traditional architecture and new urbanism, this thesis project set out to explore the Top of Town area as a collective environment by intertwining the public spaces and intimate private spaces within the context of the High Street.
Together with Sonia, we commenced the project with a series of urbanistic framework study, and an experimental place project, the ‘Room of 5 Remote Views’. We were then led by the narration of the project towards the Top of Town area, exploring deeper into the urban fabric. By decoding the parallel layers, transect pockets, and line of life in the area, our proposal is a network of Communal Villas, experimentative and explorative research on how the future of High Streets could be through the introduction of a communal-led typology and its influence on the regeneration of the Top of Town, Bradford.
The buildings as a collective with the public interventions form an identity for the Top of Town in the projective future as we reveal the invisible cities of Bradford; reconnecting its past, present, and future.