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Transient by Nature - Housing for Displaced Canal Families

Part 1 Project 2022
Hannah Elizabeth Snow
Oxford Brookes University Oxford | UK
‘There’s a rhythm to it, to the way they live. A transience, not only in location, but embodied in the vessel itself. The boats change daily, hourly, it’s a living room, a workshop, spare room and snug. It’s minimal yet filled with purpose and familiarity.’

Part of a larger phenomenon of gentrification and speculative development, Hackney’s ‘Water Safety Zone’ aims to clear the canals and reduce mooring for wider vessels, knowingly displacing families who have actively sought an alternative, more self-reliant and affordable way of life.

Amid fear of losing this demographic and the opportunities the canal provides, this project proposes a prototype cohousing development for low cost, low impact living, that draws from their ethos of adaptation and reuse and to bring back Hoxton’s industrious identity, to which the canal owes its existence.

The project revives a derelict community centre as a robust timber yard and workshop, which as well as providing opportunities for community commerce and education, will act as a central platform for the construction and adaptation of several self-built timber framed dwellings, designed to evolve with the changing needs of this post boating collective.

Hannah Elizabeth Snow

Mark Rist
Natalie Savva
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