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Economy of means

Part 1 Project 2012
Joshua Heasman
Kingston University Kingston | UK
This thesis focuses on prominent and pertinent issues currently affecting us in 2012: the power of developments to change the very nature and fabric of a city – in this particular case, Hackney Wick in the city of London, with regards to legacy – and the challenges posed by our current economic climate for architecture.

Hackney Wick is an area consisting of both housing and working units and is situated opposite the Olympic park. Surrounding the build of the Olympic Park, there has been the idea of a legacy that will positively change East London, however many local businesses are now struggling to survive against the tide of commercial growth.

This project aims to ensure that the predicted legacy of improvement works hand in hand with the rich, industrial history so inherent to the area ensuring a legacy form the past continues, by allowing the current residents and businesses to move forward in partnership with commercial growth.Based upon the concept of an economy of means, the project is designed to deliver architectural solutions that act almost as a model for future designs.

Buildings are one of the largest known contributors to carbon emissions – not only during development but also through their sustained running. As such, the use of materials and the systems put in place within this project, such as prefabrication and Passivhaus standards, highlight and explore the possibility of a building that will be built and run to an extremely high level of efficiency. Twofold benefits of cost saving and environmental responsibility are therefore explored.

The main facade of the building is constructed from standard 3”x 3” timber members spanning no longer than 3meters. These are simply connected at designated points, after which hempcrete is in filled to create the solid walls. Fibre cement panels, placed on top of the timber, protect the exposed hempcrete from weathering. Creating these walls in a factory setting allows a high level of control and time efficiency. This method of construction ensures that the building can be easily maintained, repaired and extended, allowing it to successfully adapt to the progression of time.

Joshua Heasman

Mr Tim Gough

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