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Charlotte Street House: Civic craft

Part 2 Project 2015
Alexander Billingham
Birmingham City University, UK
Charlotte Street House is a proposal for a house of charity to be established in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, housing the homeless whilst providing training in the craft of metal casting. This is founded upon the belief that craft can provide not only a skill with which residents can re-enter work, but lessons that translate into everyday life; a principle encapsulated by the Richard Sennett Quote;
‘the craft of making physical things provides insight into the techniques of experience that shape our dealings with others.’
Occupying an empty plot on a popular route between St Philips Cathedral and St Pauls Square; the project seeks to both complete the Georgian Square on which it stands and reaffirm the street edge, restoring an eroded urban fabric.
Harbouring a courtyard, the architecture draws upon the unique local vernacular in which homes and workshops coexist around external yards linked to the street, whilst internally a series of rooms span between the public and more personal realms; communal spaces and that of the individual. The tectonic strategy employed allows these spaces of different scale and character, referencing those found in Florentine Palazzos, to exist together, establishing a resilient architecture able to survive transient use.

Alexander Billingham


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