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Housing is a right; Autonomy Is emancipation

Part 1 Project 2015
Benjamin Brakespear
University of Westminster, UK
This is not how we imagined living, What our being really desires.
Our scale considered, our senses subdued.
The homes we dreamt of as children have depleted into units hard and unkind. We expected more than what we have been offered.

This residential project is designed to rehouse Grow Heathrow and facilitate the emergence of an autonomous community instead of providing a commodity for governed individuals of an affluent demographic. It is intended to use minimum outside services and utilities; an almost self-sufficient community using algae growing as a primary source of protein, rainwater collection and filtration to minimise use of mains water and small scale production: chickens for eggs, bee keeping for honey and compost all enable income generation. Communal accommodation is designed to enable and enhance co-operative living, including cooking, socialising and education. Guest accommodation is also provided enabling visitors to stay and learn. Grow Heathrow has attempted to educate and inform society of the potential for genuine alternative to living and consuming within the late Capitalist condition.

I propose we defer from entering business-orientated development and take a philanthropic approach to construction. This project focuses on a residential and mixed use building constructed primarily out of recycled pallets using the reconstructed stair towers (cast in concrete) originally part of the 19th Century housing on the site in Sclater Street. Close to the northern end of Brick Lane the project is located in an - an area rich in histories of community triumph and disaster and economic resilience, a palimpsest of memories now disregarded for commercial profit.

Benjamin Brakespear

Jane Tankard
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