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Polyvalent Models

Part 2 Project 2019
Oliver Carter
London Metropolitan University UK
In a measured response to the climate crisis, this submission addresses the use of grown materials, some in a composite state, to design and build an elevated structure on Margent Farm in Cambridgeshire and to conceive of a polyvalent building in Shadwell that would be able to adapt, with minimal modification, to accommodate programmes of primary education, work or dwelling.

The first project was constructed by the student with their studio colleagues in two phases totalling fifteen days. The building’s minimal material palette consisted of less than a cubic metre of concrete for its substructure; spruce and spruce plywood for its superstructure; Accoya for columns, windows, door and stair; and wood fibre insulation, a breathing membrane, and hemp and bio-resin sinusoidal panels to keep the interior space warm and dry.

The major project imagines and resolves a four-storey breathing softwood and hempcrete construction situated between an elevated railway to its north and a historic street to its south. The design methodology was informed by material provenance, gravity, climatic conditions, the regulatory frameworks that impact on contemporary architectural practice and, finally, the immediate context. The building’s offset section enables the integration of a generously tall space in all programmatic iterations.

Oliver Carter

Pamola Gormley
David Grandorge
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