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Poundbury: An Urban Extension

Part 2 Dissertation 2011
Sarah Mathieson
Kingston University Kingston-Upon-Thames UK
The intention of this dissertation is to discuss and critique the continually growing urban structure of Poundbury, proposed as a planned extension to the town of Dorchester in Dorset. Developed by Prince Charles and the architect Leon Krier as an exemplar for urban housing in the UK, the study considers
all aspects of the project, from inception to construction and the future, with particular emphasis on the central role played by historical precedent. What motivated the critical stance of the dissertation are the implications of proposing a strongly historicist exemplar from which future town extensions across
the country are expected to learn. A study of Poundbury as it is currently being built, reveals a disjunction between theory and practice, where worthy classical city models are superficially interpreted and iumplemented in an unsituated and uncritical manner, with detrimental effect on the
quality of the urban environment, both new and existing. As a counterpart to Poundbury, two other urban extension projects are briefly discussed: Saemangeum Island City by Architecture Research Unit and Rainham Village by Stephen Taylor Architects. These are also schemes that rely on historical
precedent, but interpreted and processed quite differently, thus presenting an alternative, more successful view on the expansion of existing towns and cities.

Sarah Mathieson

Dr Alexandra Stara
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