My year of work has surrounded the relationship between urban spaces and nature. I'm particularly interested in the unpredictable world of spontaneous urban nature; weeds creeping through cracks and gaps. At the beginning of the year my imagination was captured by the 'brachen' spaces of Berlin; thriving habitats of spontaneous nature that sprouted from the city's post-war rubble landscapes. Whilst writing an essay about these 'brachen' spaces I read about how they were being built over and smothered as they are seen as just prime real estate for urban development. This conflict is the foundation of my studio project 'Parallel Habitats' which aims to create a space that moves beyond a binary 'urban space' or 'natural space' but truly embraces the coexistence of the two.
The site for the project was a derelict car park in Stockport, which was sprinkled with glimses of leaves and flowers. My strategy was to allow and encourage this spontaneous nature to claim the entire ground of the site, much like the 'brachen' spaces in Berlin. My architectural intervention would float above, raised by stilts, and allow light to pass through it onto the vegetation below.
My building is a coliving scheme for post-graduate students; a group of people who are in a stage of their life which is transitory, which reflects the intention of my building's presence on the site. The use of communal spaces reduces the overall footprint of the building which increases the amount of sunlight that reaches the ground. This notion parallels a tree canopy, which also informed the spatial quality of the building; feeling like you're in a forest.