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Particle Board Factory, Woodhouses, Manchester

Part 2 Project 2004
Helen Webster
Sze Ying Lim
Manchester School of Architecture Manchester | UK
The first half of this thesis was in collaboration with the German Cultural Federation's Shrinking Cities project, based on exploration and comparative study of urban depopulation, examining several international case studies.

The thesis focuses on East Manchester; an extensive study of the area informed a strategic response to issues raised in the initial study, particularly relative value of space and material. This strategy is taken to its logical conclusion in built form, a Particleboard Factory.

1-2: Document the main issues evident from the site analysis.
3-8: Describe and explain the strategic response.
9-15: Illustrate synthesis into built form.

Helen Webster
Sze Ying Lim

How is value added to urban space? Thorough analysis of depopulated East Manchester revealed active and latent physical and cultural processes in the area to produce a strategy for urban transformation.

The thesis sought to reconcile redundant urban space with the cultural legacy of Manchester. The resultant project is a fusion of planning, forestry, manufacturing and design. Lake, forest, factory and studio are transformative mechanisms, changing the underused Medlock Valley into a space of production, consumption, work and leisure. Each activity defaults to its essential objective form. Juxtaposing raw material and finished object, proximity of difference defines the architecture.


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