How can we reimagine former sites of production in the city for a sustainable future?

Since the beginning of my studies at MSA I have had an avid interest in sustainable architectural practice, thus the above research question instantly caught my attention and encouraged me to join ‘&’ Atelier. Adaptive reuse was heavily emphasised in the Manchester Abattoir regeneration project posed this year, and was the perfect opportunity to explore my interests in materiality and the retrofitting of existing structures.

My proposed scheme (as illustrated by some select images shown below) will respond to the lack of surrounding affordable and healthy food businesses and the lack of public meeting areas in a way that is sustainable. The scheme features a versatile community centre and organic market which were created through the retrofitting of the existing buildings on site, as well as an added community kitchen and dining hall that utilises more sustainable construction materials such as timber. Internal spaces were redesigned to feature more open plan areas that can be easily adaptable if the need arises, following the ideals of adaptive reuse. The landscaping strategies followed a similar ethos, as I implemented planting greenery above crushed tarmac to avoid the emissions caused by its complete removal as well as adding public vegetable gardens that will provide local produce for the on-site community kitchen. The winter gardens are protected by a bespoke timber and glass gridshell that became the focal point of my technological studies. Finally, I put heavy emphasis on user experience and making sure each space I designed within the community centre was functional, accessible and visually pleasing. The culmination of all these design aspects created a project that, while still open for development, became my most thorough and rewarding  architectural exploration so far.