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The Design School as a Monument to Fire Prevention

Part 1 Project 2021
Momchil Petrinski
University of Westminster | UK
This interdisciplinary experimental School of Architecture aims to develop, test and implement bioengineered construction materials and methods through proto-practices. These new ideas of teaching and learning are inclusive of digitally displaced resources, the public realm and the community. The proposal is a contemporary monument to fire that alludes to the man-made Grenfell Tower disaster. While the tragic repercussions are ongoing, the architecture hopes to encourage conversations that extend beyond blame to raise awareness and create preventive solutions. This also concerns issues of climate change and the destruction caused by recurring wildfires. The narrative of ‘fire’ is expressed through the program and materiality, starting with laboratory experiments. This serves multiple purposes, from the ‘gallery’ for public knowledge, heat distribution to the surrounding buildings and the cultivation of green spaces. The dense urban site of Little Britain is approached as a Borgesian labyrinth that includes resting places for the homeless community embedded within the public realm. The generated heat is further used to cultivate the exotic celebratory public gardens that extend across the horizontal and vertical landscapes. Through this architectural proposal the memory and presence of fire is manifested as a positive symbol.

Momchil Petrinski


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