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Thames-Mead

Part 1 Project 2004
Magnea Gudmundsdottir
University of East London London UK
Thames

The river edge is made of hard concrete banks and a thick flood defence wall which separates it from the housing in the back. At one point the edge turns into a soft landscaped slope and the hard concrete wall disappears underneath a grassy hill. People pass through enjoying the view and peacefulness of the riverside. Some are taking their dogs for a walk, others are on their way to the golf course nearby and some cycle through.

On the other side of the grassy hill there is a neighbourhood surrounded by a fence ignoring this surrounding. It doesn’t seem to be in much context with anything but itself. Its whole organisation is very suburban and car dominated. People park their cars as close to the houses as possible, their outdoor activities take place in fenced off backyards and the kids play in the car parks. Nothing else is here.

Mead

I´ve proposed a pub, a community hall and landscape for this existing community, to connect it to the riverfront topography, passers-by and the larger expansion of London along the Thames to the East, and to serve as a model for further development in this area.

Magnea Gudmundsdottir


Our unit concerned itself with the development of the Thames
Gateway in East London, focusing on the body of water which
should be the foundation of this enterprise, the Thames
itself.

Magnea discovered the most depressing of existing sites which
will be integrated into this new city, an unconsidered 'anyplace' housing development implanted into and remaining foreign to the terrain of Thamesmead.  The challenge and difficult spatial, social and urban issues that this situation presented were addressed with the perceptive execution of investigations and propositions of a scale necessary to have any significant impact in this environment.

The project displays a consistent surety of judgment from the
urban through to the detailed scale, and above all impresses
for the apparent ease, credibility and economy with which the final proposals deal with demanding ambitions.

Finally, the project expresses a quiet, understated optimism
and beauty, remarkable in its field of investigation.

2004
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