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Vertical Community

Part 1 Project 2011
Grazina Pleckauskiene
University of Greenwich, UK
My project explores the virtues of high density vertical development, while accommodating the contemporary kinetic lifestyles and structures typical of 21st Century students. The architecture seeks to achieve an integrity of living, working and entertaining space, while responding to the opportunities and pressures of the digital domain on private space.

Vertical Community's lifestyle is unique because its spatial experience can be explored from the grounded basement up to the top floor skyline, a physical structure inhabited by a digitised community. Vertical movement and function are key in making linkages, connections and separations between the spaces. Occupants experience the verticality as they move: the weight of imprinted histories accumulate a physical and ideological gravity on the basement and ground floor libraries. Vertiginous light wells extend through the student housing in a dynamic flight to the roof terrace, where the greatest wildlife spectacles take place. It is a thrilling spatialised google adventure.

An interactive productive library is integrated within the stair landings, where books are written, restored and read, pulling the occupants back to their weighty literature. Lifestyles are collaborative as well as individual within the 60 residential quarters overlooking the waterfront and the city. Shared spaces accommodate sensorial technology, providing digital means of escape. Pre-fabricated and lightweight construction is changeable and adaptable, less dense and lighter than the books.

Spaces benefit from the flexibility to adjust and react to the climate its occupants desire. Introverted spaces become extroverted. There is no clear threshold between floor and walls, or inside and outside. Occupants can experience the qualitative benefits of fresh air and views. Textures and materials complement the pre-programmed physical vistas, strengthening the sense of local identity and community. Within this, students choose their own flights of fancy, a more than bearable lightness of being.

Grazina Pleckauskiene

Mr Francois Girardin
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