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Salisbury Forum

Part 1 Project 2011
Kevin Woodward
University of the West of England, UK
This project is informed by an investigation into the recent changes in the UK planning system that the Coalition Government have proposed over the last year. Focusing upon the proposed Localism Bill; it questions the validity of creating a new neighbourhood / community tier of planning, whilst cutting resources from the existing local tier that will inevitably be required to support it.

By challenging planning concepts of determined height and existing street lines, along with the form of the building itself, the Salisbury Forum aims to act as an example of how architecture can be more than simply visually contextual, rather; a socially contextual building.

The building's organisation is based upon the urban hierarchy of the City of Salisbury. The Forum space itself is modelled around a town square (echoing Salisbury's historically famous Market Square).

The Forum space is then surrounded by a continuous circulation ramp, or internal street (representing the tight grid of Salisbury's medieval chequers). This street aims to encourage the interaction of different patrons, and thus contribute to the development of the community.

Surrounding the ramp and the Forum are a series of self contained buildings which create a program of activity designed to encourage use of the Forum from many different groups of people. This programme is a mix of community functions and income generating schemes (Offices/Gallery/Restaurant/Shop/Library/Crèche).

The buildings are grouped in districts of similar function (Community/Retail/Office), allowing for easy navigation, and to encourage an organic urban development within the Forum.

Finally the scheme proposes the creation of a viewing tower acting as a tourist attraction drawing attention from the primary routes of the city and offering unparalleled views of the city's existing tourist attractions. This tower contextually represents the primary identity of the City (the Cathedral's spire), and whilst sitting out of proportion with its immediate surroundings, it links the building to the Salisbury at a city-wide level, recognising that medieval cities are primarily characterised by their punctuations in the skyline from spires and towers.

The entire building is then contained within a glass curtain wall which represents the proposed transparency of the localism bill.

Kevin Woodward


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