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The Ecology of Building

Part 1 Project 2006
Aaron Birch
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh UK
Rather than standing as an autonomous development, the design proposal seeks to unite communities and attract visitors, acting as a social catalyst within the wider community and enhancing Dunbar’s cultural identity whilst providing economic benefits.
Informed by the concept of a Continuous Productive Urban Landscape, the landform is a cohesive yet flexible interaction of terrain and built form that can be programmed to serve a specific function.
Whilst on a micro-scale, issues of environmental sustainability are addressed with on-site grey-water recycling and passive solar gains, the prime objective is the socio-cultural and economic sustainability addressed on a macro scale.

Aaron Birch

The submission explores sustainability in the term’s widest sense, focusing on the coastal town of Dunbar. It proposes an act of regeneration in exploring how cultivation and commerce come together to make cohesive communities. The region’s agricultural tradition resonates through an adoption of the runrig pattern of strip farming, although made contemporary through the use of glasshouses and intensive cultivation methods. Housing and a market mark the street edge with the architecture defining the transformation of produce into a marketable commodity. The buildings, environmentally responsive in their design, also celebrate the open aspect and enveloping skyscapes of the east coast.

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