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At the Bottom of the Garden

Part 1 Project 2010
Alia Dawood
Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London UK
"Home" is described in literature as being related to the house, family, haven, self, gender and journeying. My own definition of the word 'home' is a place where one can dwell. It does not assume that the physical housing unit defines the experience of home. It connotates a more active and mobile relationship of individual to physical, social and psychological spaces around them. The proposed dwellings in "At the Bottom of the Garden" are investigating the idea of a new home within the city and identify the importance of the home as being place where one feels a strong sense of belonging to their surroundings.

"At the Bottom of the Garden" uses footprints of the traditional garden hut or shed as a trigger to re-defining and challenging the idea of the typical terraced house typology. Based in the suburbs of West London and on a community of terrraced houses, which surround my aunt's house, the project places equal emphasis on the communal funcations as well as the intimate functions of the home. These are two different points of view, which are unified through the project. They are contrasting problems, which are answered through these specific huts located at the back of the garden. Breuer writes:

"...the easy method of meeting contrasting problems is the feeble compromise. The solution for black and white is grey - that is the easy way. To me that is not satisfying. Sun and Shadow does not mean a cloudy sky. The need for black and the need for white still exists."

"At the Bottom of the Garden" looks towards a new kind of home-place where interactions can be private and communal - where activities can be performed alone and as a collective. These interactions take place in duality.

Alia Dawood


This is a project both of personal exploration, through the student using their aunt as a 'client', and a profoundly careful study of typology and ontology. The project asks us not only what is a 'home' but also explores the relationship between the individual and the community.

Based on close examination of the occupations and activities of the 'residents' of a single row of terraced houses, the project seeks to extract some of the personal activities (baking, joinery, etc.) in order to redefine the way that a community works with each other and individually. The new spaces of interaction, the 'huts' at the bottom of the garden, become both a new 'street' (by offering up a new frontage) and individual spaces of action and privacy.

The project is presented through a combination of characterful hand drawings, bringing an idiosyncratic character to the views, and through well defined and articulated technical drawings.

Overall, this is a project which asks questions through a set of highly specific propositions and presentations.

Tutor(s)
Mr Nasser Golzari
Mr Geoffrey Makstutis
2010
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