The inhabited wall

The Mayfield area of Manchester is commonly regarded as ‘run down’ and ‘in desperate need of regeneration’. Although this may be the case, the abandoned nature of the area possesses a derelict beauty. There is a unique sense of tranquility. When we experience the area, we can feel its capacity for thought and contemplation.

‘The inhabited wall: Mayfield Library’ sustains this atmosphere of thought and calm whilst regenerating the area. The building preserves the abandoned green spaces by touching the ground as little as possible through a raised first floor. The idea is to build within Mayfield’s existing philosophy and become a part of it rather than building ‘on top’ - the nearby viaduct is incorporated into the scheme and becomes a continuation of the main object. The library and archive contain a variety of maps and books ranging from the area’s history to modern fiction. The aim is for the books to bring a much-needed social enrichment to the area. Synonymous with self-reflection and thought, books prompt the user to expand their appreciation of Mayfield. The use of walkways allow the users to move out of the building and enter the viaduct, where cosy reading rooms can be found underneath the arches. On top of the viaduct, an unkempt ‘urban forest’ acts as a continuation of Mayfield’s abandoned greenery.