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Housing which builds Community: Brunswick Dock, Liverpool

Part 1 Project 2014
Shu cheng Huang
University of Liverpool UK
Regarding architecture as a powerful tool for social challenges, the brief asked to build a sense of place through housing. The site is located within the Brunswick dock, on the Liverpool waterfront area. It is a new place, which includes different types of poorly designed modern housing and it is restricted, on the east, by industrial buildings. The manufacturing district beside the site, indeed, separates the traditional Georgian residential area and inhabited area on the waterfront.

The brief divides the design process into three parts. The first one is the conceptual mapping, which requires capturing the spirit of the place through a sensitive, very personal, analysis on site. Through the response of the site via collages and sketches, the mapping shows the idea of considering the area along the dock as a new small city for living on the water. Inspired by the traditional buildings on the docks and by the industrial atmosphere, the detailed analysis introduces stage two, massing. This takes into account, at the same time, the specific dock view and the potential coherence between ship and housing design. Indeed, balancing analysis and imagination, an enthusiastic idea was shaped: to make two ships like living machines - and the site a small harbor. In the transition from the massing idea to the detailed design (third step), the project improved into imagining the whole area a ship collision on the dock: each house, as a life boat, ideally flows from the site into the dock water.

Finally the key consideration of the house internal design is the reinterpretation of the traditional British house layout into a new, contemporary one, which includes, for all the residents, a bay window with 180 degrees view on the beautiful dock scenery.

Shu cheng Huang


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