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A Civic Gesture for Lewes

Part 1 Project 2022
Aryeh Zev Klien
London Metropolitan University | UK
Along the River Ouse in Lewes, are a series of abandoned timber frame buildings, a potential opportunity celebrate a relationship between people and the river.

Here The Civic Gesture for Lewes sits, consisting of two proposals, a community run sports centre accompanied by a multifunctional town square, and the Town Hall. The buildings partly occupy the abandoned timber framed buildings, creating a new civic presence within structures that have become ingrained in the history of Lewes.

The buildings are conceived together to create a new civic centre for the town, with the idea that architecture can offer a civic gesture through its expression and resolution. The aim was to establish the site as a central anchor to the town, a space Lewes lacked within its existing form, whilst simultaneously reconnecting the locals back to the river, by providing a new and improved relationship with the flood defence system.

The scheme retains aspects of the existing sheds, refusing to demolish the history that exists. The town hall accommodates a space for conversations, debates, education and forms a sense of identity for the people within Lewes. Providing a sustainably focused design that prioritises reuse and local materials expressed through a civic language.

Aryeh Zev Klien

Jillian Jones
Kieran Wardle
David Eagleton
Bailey Rawson-Spink
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