The Gas Works
- WHAT -
A communal living experiment
- WHEN -
Feb '17 - Ap '17
- WHERE -
This project moves to explore progressive and radical ways to dismantle market driven economies and address the widening social and spatial inequality in the built environment. The project strives to operate on a continuum, between scales, between power structures, between public and private, between communal and individual. There has to be a conscious effort to engage with power and positions of power in a positive and constructive fashion.
THE STATE OF THINGS
Communal fixtures, services, and sharing will help facilitate a collective and united voice. Shared services, such as child care, cleaning, food preparation, etc., and barter economies will move to de-commodify and break down normalized economic structures, as well as foster mutualism. Communal tenure structures will also help establish a communal network that provides assistance both financially, but also domestically and financially. This communal culture is better equipped to organize and maintain their position against systems of power.
In pursuit of a more well integrated, sustainably diverse community, housing stock typology should be equally manifold and accepting of various scales of privacy, shared space, and communal facilities. Co-op/communal forms of living provide grounds for the most progressive sharing of resources and space from an economic and social standpoint. However, this project does not deny the need for different privacy conditions, and thus moves to provide more ‘typical’ multi-family dwellings. Live/work structures and inclusion of office and workshop space also create distinct changes and shifts in community population throughout the day. Constant community flow is crucial in developing diverse social interactions, and will help the collective grow.
On-site food, energy, and wealth generation are poised not to isolate into self-sufficiency, but create better regional magnetism but also make the community more financially autonomous. Modular construction, utilization of existing infrastructure and public self-completion by committee are also elements directed at cost reduction, and community generation.
CAMBRIDGE HEATH, LONDON
The site is located in the Cambridge Heath neighborhood of East London. An old industrial grounds, the site was host to two gasometers. The gasometers (no.2 and no.5) are significant structures on the site that have the potential to drastically shape circulation and program of the project. Preservation of the gasometer’s structural steel/iron as a historical and cultural landmark allows for clear delineations of public and private spaces. Further, keeping these structures with their a-contextual heights creates opportunities to embed energy and food generation while simultaneously addressing variation in the urban fabric. The concrete tanks, below ground, encourage manipulation of the ground plane for more dynamic public space that acknowledges the history to the structures.