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Metropolitan Living and Learning

Part 1 Project 2012
Encho Rachev
University of Portsmouth Portsmouth UK

In the heart of an incredibly diverse and multi-layered city, a site of great architectural and social potential is the focus point of an exciting project. An idea for contemporary living and learning conceived through spatial exploration within a metropolitan setting provides the spark. The project strives to bring together and promote exchange of cultures.

Potter’s field park is a threshold between many contrasting urban realms which all act as powerful generators of architectural ideas. The design of the whole – a mixed-use development providing a residential element, Cultural Learning Centre and successful public spaces – is almost as if shaped by the rich context surrounding it. The urban grain of this particular area in London has many forms. My design works towards stitching the West, very contemporary linear urban fabric of More London with the regular, more privately oriented, courtyard type of urban fabric to the East.

A row of residential blocks along Tower Bridge road completes the street reflecting the surrounding architecture. All blocks are of different shape, yet use the same language to signify the multicultural nature of London. A circulation walkway through first floor level pierces the blocks and creates a semi private transition between the street and public spaces below. Concrete circulation cores along the walkway provide excellent conditions for natural ventilation.

A sequence of small public squares creates a rich public scene incorporating shops, cafes, and restaurants. The Cultural Learning Centre together with an Art gallery and a Library on a separate axis of use are interlocking into the main master plan, creating a conversation with GLA building, as well as enclosing more public spaces with the existing college building on site.

Half of the site area is taken by a park, fragmented by various pocket parks all with different feel and location. All destinations within the complex are reachable by multiple routes and no view is left unexplored. Green spaces are spread throughout multiple levels, while public squares are contained, intertwined, and lively.

Conceived as a new link in the complex urban network of London, the project envisions a more united and exciting metropolitan living and learning environment.

Encho Rachev


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