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The Play Mill

Part 1 Project 2022
Ellie Ruth Hardie
University of Sheffield | UK
"Intergenerational crafts enable cultural traditions and values to be shared between generations, which helps build a sense of personal and community identity while encouraging tolerance."

Working sensitively with the shell and frame of an existing building, the Play Mill establishes a vision for a future intergenerational 'playcare' facility. Set in the heart of Halifax, and picking up on the existing street patterns and covered arcades, the project set about creating a new urban landscape for creative play. The Play Mill is not confined by the existing building walls and proposes a wider strategy for the transformation of the Halifax high street from a retail-based environment to a creative play forum. The project celebrates the woven history of Calderdale’s mills and the town’s identity – exploring the intersection between weave and play as a method of connecting the generations.

The design explores a series of fabric layers, carefully composing and framing the building programme, which peels back to reveal a carefully integrated range of accessible spaces. The building form is refined by a reflective process, using carbon analysis and inventive material choices to create a transformative and expansive architecture. The architectural language is sensitive, yet celebrates its physical and social setting.

Ellie Ruth Hardie

Leo Care
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