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'House of Extravaganza': Re-imagining Strawberry Hill as an Incubator of Subversive Queer Space for London

Part 2 Project 2020
Kleanthis Kyriakou
Central Saint Martins, UAL | UK
This project deals with the dramatic loss of LGBTQ+ venues across London due to gentrification and the rise of online dating apps. Inspired by two medieval literary works: ‘Utopia’ by Thomas Moore and ‘The Book of the City of Ladies’ by C.D. Pizan, the project imagines an alternative future for a thriving queer community in the city -with a special emphasis on gay drag culture.

Queer practice and architectural storytelling are employed as the primary tools for this investigation. In order to envision this utopian future, the project unpacks the queer mythologies and Gothic phantasmagoria of Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill House and translates them into architectural interventions. These new queer architectures, fluctuating from monumental props to a one-night extravaganza, are strategically positioned across town and constructed over time. Thus, London becomes an augmented version of Strawberry Hill, a utopian rupture, where unconventional lifestyles and various identities can flourish.

Once a haven for its patron, Strawberry hill provided a bolstered playground for Horace’s shifting identity. The narrative runs in parallel with the author’s own experiments with identity and space, all of which are mapped, performed, and shared online at myqueerlondon.com

Kleanthis Kyriakou

Tutor(s)
Andreas Lang
2020
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