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London, The Accidental City

Part 2 Project 2015
Alice Shepherd
London Metropolitan University London UK
“Long live the thousand villages; long live the tolerant cockney spirit that allows them to coexist.” Nairn’s London 1966

Central London is famous for its resistance to planning, its messiness, inconsistency and variety of scale. The city formed itself as a growing together of villages, where the soft pattern of streams, tracks and fields were the guidelines for its streets. We celebrate this heterogeneous development. Buildings of different ages stand next to each other, different heights reveal unintended views of blank sides and unruly backs.

This project studies the composition of such a city, developing a sensitivity to combining things. Not just as an abstract pleasure, composition gives buildings figurative qualities that can speak to the man in the street, generating different atmospheres within. How should new London architecture read from, respond to, and make new of the found idiosyncratic characters? Can an imaginative idea of form and beauty reinforce an open and democratic image of the city?

I look to Europe for inspiration; communal apartment buildings of Milan, Ancient Rome and it’s collage of urban space and interiors. A spatial liberty. Utilising dense, coexisting public and private programmes, this architecture is about living in the city.

Alice Shepherd

Tutor(s)
Rod Heyes

2015
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