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The Line of Least Resistance

Part 1 Project 2013
Lili Carr
Architectural Association London UK
This project concerns a plot of registered land in London’s King’s Cross.

This Land belongs to the city and as such it belongs to the community,
although the city holds the ultimate right to the possession of its reality;
the Freehold.

The Land is held by The Calthorpe Project;
an institution which calls itself Community,
who occupy the Land’s volumetric extrusion with personality;
the Leasehold.

The Land, like most of the land in London, is a commodity and consequently it is an unstable part of the landscape.

One could even say that it is not part of the landscape.

Under its designated class of use D1, the Land is monetarily worthless.
This is not valuable to the city.
This is not financially valuable to Calthorpe.
This is socially valuable to Calthorpe,
which is moderately valuable to the city.

Should the class of use be changed, the Land has great monetary worth.
This is financially valuable to the city.
This is potentially valuable to the City.
This is not valuable to Calthorpe,
since Calthorpe will cease to exist.

The Calthorpe Project is aware of the unstable nature of its occupation of the Land. This could account for the apologetic and temporary feel of its space. The occupiers have filled the land with domestic items. These lie on the shelves, on window sills, in corners and in cupboards.

If this accumulation of detritus serves only to lend illusion to the permanence of dwelling then it conforms to the worst form of domesticity; a domesticity that one tends to find in centers of Community that provoke no feelings of empathy or joy, but confirm an atmosphere of sorry stagnation and entrenched nostalgia.

If however these items are a form of sediment, leftovers from a desire to dwell, then this form of domesticity speaks to a resistance and desire to unshackle itself from conventions of regulation.

It speaks to the immediacy of the present.

Can we de-commodify Development;
return Building to the Landscape;
and Architecture to the Soil?

This project exploits loopholes in the law to propose a culture of architecture without concession.

Lili Carr


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