A City within the City

A City Within the City draws upon Krier Leon’s theories focusing on the urban grain of a city and the reconstruction of the status quo in terms of urban segmentation. Drawing particularly on his ideas around Urban Quarters this proposal develops ‘craft-city'. It incorporates his ideas about invisible urban boundaries that are delimited by human’s natural limits. Leon’s theories are integrated into the ethos and planning of the building and encapsulates everything that is needed within ‘craft-city’. This project also takes inspiration from Barcelona’s renowned urban planning strategies. Thereby incorporating macro scale planning positions into the micro scale of a building plan enabling this proposal to embody complex and intriguing a micro urban fabric of its own.

The proposal generates the possibility of an inclusive space – to facilitate a community that shares and educates, develops and exhibits and possibly trades using the medium of craft. ‘craft-city’ creates a permeable retail arcade; arts workshops; standalone gallery; multi-use auditorium; and café. Spaces are designed to be transient in nature allowing easy adaptation for varied future use.

The proposal utilised existing buildings and employed retrofitting and adaptive-reuse strategies. Reconfiguration of the Lancaster Road Georgian terrace creates the city’s boulevard. The site strategy was to create an axial route across the site which is informed by the desired line from Preston High Street to the Bus Station.

There were three significant drivers underpinning the proposal: ensuring its sustainability and longevity; its ability to captivate; and, that it compliments its wider environs. The conservation and listed status of surrounding buildings shaped materiality and massing decisions that incorporate the rhythm, soul and atmosphere of Preston.

This proposal amplifies this hidden gem within the city of Preston while still incorporating itself into Preston’s urban grain and thus builds upon the proud character of its built environment.