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Urban Hemostasis

Part 1 Project 2013
Marcus Rothnie
Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Edinburgh UK
This project returns to the goals of the architectural avant-garde of rectifying society by creating a continuum of building and city. It aims to examine the possibilities of affecting society via urban-scale architecture where scale will be considered as a tectonic issue implicating the city and society. Based in Broughton, Edinburgh, the project develops a socially-sustainable approach to the provision of 100 affordable housing units where particular emphasis is placed on the relationship between the singular building and the urban multiplicity.

Edinburgh’s response to social housing has been respectful, but its vision of the future has been compromised. The city has idealised or romanticised the position of ‘ruin’ or ‘crisis’, creating geographies of anticipation typified by Broughton’s lack of typological cohesion and derelict sites. The project is a unique opportunity to unite the disenfranchised or displaced and solidify unanimity through decentralised architectural intervention. To accomplish this, the body is used as the ultimate unifying factor in that it is the definition of position in real time, and the gauze through which we all inescapably experience and interpret both personally and collectively. By adjusting the tectonic boundary of scale to include bodily healing systems, nature’s evolved and refined hemostatic processes and biological rules can provide a new methodological direction for the creation of hopeful, efficient, fundamental infrastructures and reinterpret the urban processes scholarly observed.

My initial description of Broughton was that it was ‘fractured’. This suggests a previous healthy whole, a unity which can be rediscovered by interjecting in the autonomous reactions of a piece of urban tissue. Therefore, this scheme sits at the intersection of personal and consolidated attitudes, the individual body and the collective body, the modern and the postmodern in its reinterpretation of the traditional Edinburgh tenement block and the neglected end-of-terrace condition. It becomes a critique of the inadequacy of the prevailing architectural housing assumptions when analysed through the metaphorical lens of bodily processes. The resulting scheme quietly displays postmodern living aspirations whilst conforming to wider consensuses and culminating truncated terraces, owing its effectiveness as a critique to the extent that the healing processes are pragmatically realised.

Marcus Rothnie

Tutor(s)

2013
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