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Part 2 Project 1999
Frank Amankwah
Royal College of Art | UK

Speculating and making new models for public space.

The aim was to tug at the stigma of assumed appropriateness for public housing and 'community architecture' of what it looks like and what it could be.

1. The Ferrier Estate was built in 1972 and has 6,000 residents. It is subject of a £23 million SRB bid by Greenwich Council.

2. Anne Buchanan, (resident) one of the authors of a 5 year plan for the estate, used by ADS1 students as a breif, is recipient of a Scarman Trust award. These awards seek to empower local people to initiate change to their immediate environment. ADS1 worked with Anne and the Scarman Trust throughout the year.

The Urban Food Growing project operates on two different scales: Urban and Domestic.

Domestic Nursery:

Vegetables are grown within the home enviroment. The idea is to integrate growing into the everyday home life. The bathroom is where germination of seeds occur within specially designed floor tiles. Maturing plants can then be transplanted into the kitchen cabinet or living room containers.

Within the housing block a shared dining room space is located in-between the ground floor and first floor flats. This space aims to create social interaction between neighbours, where different cultural recipes and food growing techniques can be exchanged.

Urban Farmers Market:

The Farmers Market is located in-between the East and West sides of the estate. The aim is to physically reconnect the two sides of the estate and to create a community business for the residents. The market will attract external visitors to the estate where organically grown fruit and vegetables can be hand picked by the vistor. All proceeds will be re-invested back into the estate. The market has twelve plots each growing vegetables at different times of the year shifting from January to December.

Frank Amankwah

The brief was to offer an alternative to the wholesale demolition of the ferrier estate, an estate for 6000 residents in Kidbrook, Greenwich.

Frank combined original research (an analysis of an east west social divide, the exposing of complex social networks across the estate/with an ambitious scheme for produce growing linked to refurbishment and regeneration that flicked from micro interventions to macro strategies and back again with a beguiling ease).

Frank flexed our expectations of the limits of minicad with a set of drawings which spanned, analytic overviews supported by video interviews and footage, 3D depictions of 'afters', for example light chimneys cutting green houses deep into the plan and the remodelling of the facades, to most beguiling of all a lifestyle catalogue to draw residents into becoming part of the produce growing cooperative. This catalogue included images of seed germinating bathroom floor tiles and tips for negotiating shared spaces with your neighbours from hell.

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