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The Pleasure Palace

Part 1 Project 2008
Jack Wates
University of Brighton, UK
The aim of the project was to select and develop a number of pleasure programmes on the Aylesbury Estate in South London, as an alternative form of regeneration to the NDC proposal to tear it down.

I introduced an OAP home, a chicken farm and a public garden, attempting to develop a number of symbiotic relationships between them. The intersection of these programmes with a Continuous Productive Urban Landscape and the cross-river tramline gives the project identity at agricultural and urban scales.

The project is designed to encourage urban dwellers to ‘observe activities and processes traditionally associated with the countryside, thereby re-establishing a relationship between life and the processes required to support it.’ The reoccurring connections with the natural landscape and its phenomena strengthen these associations with the countryside, and can be seen as an expression of pleasure.

Jack Wates

Working on the site of Blair’s inaugural speech as Prime Minister, the much-maligned Aylesbury Estate offered rich roots for Jack’s ‘Pleasure Palace’ cum integrated productive landscape. Chicken run travelators, an OAP hospice and an elevated permaculture landscape leading over Albany Road to Burgess Park are interwoven to provide acute programmatic intervention married with a formal sense of neo-gothic urban bravado connecting the estate and the park.

Thoroughly researched, formally audacious and sumptuously drawn, the real strength of Jack’s proposal however lies in the collision of its immediate social poignancy (given the NDC’s decision to demolish the estate) and as a prototype for the integration of urban agriculture embedded in one of London’s most needy so-called ‘sink’ estates.

Nick Hayhurst
Tamsie Thomson
Suzi Winstanley

Nick Hayhurst
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