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Infrascraper: polyfunctional landscapes and ambassador townships

Part 2 Project 2012
Carrie Bayley
Manchester School of Architecture, UK
"An Infrascraper is defined as a mixed use ground scraper that has the capacity to absorb generic urban functions and integrate strands of monofunctional infrastructures thus providing a continuous ribbon of connectivity. It has the capacity to accommodate and adapt for hybrid programmes and maximise interaction. System and façade underwrite its logic.”

The polycentric conurbation of Stoke on Trent has given rise to the concept and has provided a test case for the physical manifestation of theories at detail, building, master building and master planning levels. Stoke on Trent is not overly congested, rather the functionality of its polynucleic urban form is undermined because it is congested with peripheral objects. There is an opportunity to redistribute urban programme in the form of an Infrascraper that inhabits an existing infrastructural axis. Architectural intervention is challenged to transform the once monofunctional realm of infrastructure into a polyfunctional interface that allows for the integration and enhancement of existing urban systems. In addition this efficient consolidation of inhabited space makes allowances for new programmatic relationships and economical servicing strategies. Where the standardisation of existing infrastructural systems and their components ensure they meet standards of efficiency, the Infrascraper also has social, sustainable and aesthetic agendas.

The integration of infrastructural strands and the clustering of programmes facilitates a self perpetuating development based on inherent relationships. In order to manage this, a system of standard blocks and cores has been created. This can be applied in various iterations to, and regardless of, a vast range of contexts but most crucially, adaptability means that the engrained theories of the Infrascraper remain present and logical as the system transforms to accommodate programmes and ideologies of localities. This influences transfer, connection and exchange at a variety of scales.

Existing site circulation and location informs the build-up of the façade pattern which is inextricably linked to the system thus retaining the potential for adaptability. The positioning of the established 33/66% frit pattern within the system is interchangeable dependant on localised requirements whilst the principal pattern and distribution of colour breaks up monotony at all scales allowing for different modes of interaction.

Carrie Bayley


Dr Nick Dunn

• Page Hits: 9414         • Entry Date: 13 September 2012         • Last Update: 13 September 2012