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Flexible Housing; Peckham, London

Part 2 Project 2001
Jeremy Tyrrell
University of Portsmouth Portsmouth UK
The aim of the thesis was the exploration of a concept. Following on from my dissertation study ‘The failure of nerve in English housing’ I became interested in developing what I had found into a design project. One of the most significant outcomes from the dissertation was the apparent lack of choice the new house buyer has in Britain today. The thesis therefore aimed to demonstrate a more flexible approach to housing. The challenge was to do this not just as a one-off but in a ‘mass housing’ situation. The development of the concept was influenced by the work of Dutch architect Nils Habraken who was pioneering such ideas in the 1970’s. The ‘support structure’ is used as a basis for which varying permutations of living volumes can be arranged in relationship to one another. The aim in real terms is to give the consumer freedom and choice to shape their living environment within a series of pre-set parameters. As a vehicle upon which to test this concept I chose the Europan 6 competition site in Peckham. Not only did this call for an innovative and flexible approach to housing, it also demanded a series of commercial and communal facilities whilst providing an urban context to respond to.
Jeremy Tyrrell

The student's Thesis project derives from his interest in our Diploma 1 Urban Settlement Option course, developed further through his Dissertation on "The failure of nerve in English Housing". His Thesis subject is that old chestnut 'flexibility' but his approach, motivation and original insights are all his own, fired, no doubt, by his interest in the possibilities for urban housing that are currently exhibited in the Netherlands.

This student's thesis is rigorously tested, in the Europan Competition Peckham site. The work is self critical, a continuing body of work, and is well expressed through his excellent representational skills.

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