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Repairing Buildings, Restoring Bodies, Reviving Cities

Part 2 Project 2023
Isabella Laffeaty
Kingston University Kingston | UK
The monolithic new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital has just landed in an area of industrial decline in Smethwick, Birmingham. An antidote to this is a proposed community facility and dance studio within retained warehouses, situated provocatively at its feet and at the centre of the Grove Lane area regeneration plans.

The project strips back the cluster of large sheds and warehouses – scheduled for demolition – to their masonry and truss bones and then delicately inserts new structures. Carefully choreographed hemp lined studios and new lean-to roofs form welcoming spaces for care and gathering around a sheltered walled courtyard carved from former warehouse interiors. The project promotes the NHS health and well-being agenda to create a space of respite and escape from the hospital, whilst actively connecting the old with the new.

Isabella Laffeaty


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