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Making the City a Home

Part 2 Project 2008
David De La Mare
London Metropolitan University UK
The restitution of a major transport interchange in Dalston, necessitates an increase in building stock to accommodate users of the high speed connection to the city.

The project challenges the realization of urban density and the social hierarchy of spaces created between. In response to the demand for family housing in London, a typology is proposed that explores the integration of family living with the urban environment.

The scheme investigates the flexible use of space within a tight plan and the environmental and qualitative efficiency of timber construction on a proposal of this scale.

David De La Mare

Sited at Dalston Junction in East London, a site of major infrastructural change, this project considers how families might live in a dense inner city environment with a sense of greater confidence and joy than is now evident. The project also addresses how buildings situated within this context might have lesser dependence on the diminishing resources of our planet. To achieve these aims, a series of complex design decisions have been made from the scale of the city to that of the detail.

A rich urban plan achieves an appropriately high density for this part of the city through a sophisticated consideration of building height and adjacency. Public spaces, both broad and taut, are provided to encourage meaningful social exchange.

Timber construction is emphasized throughout. Pre-fabricated planar elements are proposed for the housing while linear elements forming trusses are used to envelop a large single space - a hall for the city. It is envisaged that this flexible structure would be able to embrace a number of programs over its life.

Finally, this project proposes that architecture can address the myriad of regulations that impact on the design of housing, yet remain a thing of beauty, becoming a dignified backdrop to city life.

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