The Parallel City 

How can the existing fabric be collaged with new fragments in order to define the city as more memorable?

Following our first encounter with Accrington and research, our thesis has at its base the objective of inciting the curiosity of roaming the city and linking sensory experience to long lasting memories of the place. This is done as an attempt to revitalise the infrastructure of the town and make it more memorable. The overarching principle that we engaged with relies on the in depth analysis of Accrington’s urban fabric, culminating with an even further abstraction of the urban fabric imperfections, considering them fragments of the city and celebrating them. Learning from the contingent urban form of the existing structures, we applied a similar character to the new interventions, through a procedural and operative design approach. The result is an interconnected system of artefacts that act as devices in the labyrinthine exploration of the town centre. Inspired by Rossi and Piranesi, we used the layering of the city as an approach to coordination and way-finding in the attempt of re-reading new memories of the city and embracing a new narrative. 

The main focus of the project is the refurbishment of four buildings and their new extensions which are collaged within the cityscape and how the reclaimed courtyard acts as a transition between the public spaces of the town centre.