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The Civic Shed

Part 2 Project 2019
Monika Marinova
London Metropolitan University UK
Once a centre of vibrant manufacturing, Stoke-on-Trent’s six towns have aggregated together with no perceptible centre and are currently in a state of abundant disuse. On the threshold between civic and industrial, the Civic Shed challenges the relationship between architecture of simplicity and monumentality, wealth and necessity in a town conflicted by its contradicting legacy. A city room in the heart of the building provides a venue for celebration and protest, located opposite the seat of power, offering the democratic space that never existed within the town hall, while a local archive widens the council’s public-facing functions.

An object rather than a landmark, the Civic Shed encloses an urban room framed by faces looking onto it. Offering its theatrical facades, it negotiates between the town hall as a seat of power and the church as a symbol of community. Adopting the typology of an industrial shed, the space brings civic qualities through generosity of space. As the detailing and composition use the formal vocabulary of public buildings to create a civic identity, the building democratises the town and shapes the new image of civic institution by exploring the reciprocity between material lightness and civic weight brought through a single detail.

Monika Marinova

Summer Islam
Takero Shimazaki
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