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Social Housing creating social and extended community living spaces for a more sociable housing strategy in Ampthill Square Estate, Somers Town

Claire Taggart Unit 22 BENVGA08 Design Realisation DRAFT

Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Contents Project Introduction 4 5 8 8

Unit 22 Brief and Agenda Project Agenda and Aims Project Brief Building Programme

01 Building Form, Systems, Planning and Context 10 11 11 12 12 13 13 15

-Site Analysis Site Location Use and History Local Development Plans HS2 Demolition Plans Site Issues to be addressed Design Pollution

16 -Planning Policies 16 Unitary Development Plans 17 Local Development Strategy 18 19 20 21 24 26 28 31 31 32 33 34 36 37 38 40 41 42

-Building Form User Experience Ground Floor Plan Overall Section Floor Plans Tower Retrofit Scheme Order of Interventions into Existing -Building Systems Access and Circulation Systems Lighting Fire Strategies and Escape Routes Hyperboloid Tower Structure Tensegrity systems Load Forces Diagram Skins Landscape Construction Environmental Strategy

02 Building Construction- Area of Focus Building Envelope Existing and Retrofit New Build Building Materials Sourcing Treatment Process of Construction Site Works and Demolition Retrofit Reinforcements Reinforcing Existing Building Structure Resident Assembly and Adaptation Maintenance and Modification Wind Loading Earth Loading Water Ingress and Interstitial condensation

03 Building Performance User Comfort and Experience Case Studies Thermal Performance Passive Cooling Thermal Mass and Earth Insulation Acoustic Control Shading and Day Lighting Natural Ventilation Energy Generation Case Studies Wind Energy Harvesting Vibrational Energy Harvesting Rain Water Collection

04 Building Delivery Building Delivery Planning Strategies Funding Contract Construction Issues Procurement Stages 3

Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Unit 22 Agenda Vulnerability as Framework As a general condition affecting many parts of our world vulnerability could be viewed in many different ways. As part of a design program our perspective will focus on how the protection of vulnerable realities requires a change in design habits. International standards of design procedures are still having Modernity as a main conceptual and methodological framework. In this introduction, the definition of vulnerability will inevitably be linked to the evolution and influence of Modernity. We will first postulate Modernity has been an important source of vulnerability, extracting ideas from authors around “Risk Society” notions. But this production of vulnerability was not a part of Modernity’s set of goals. Therefore, while being a major cause, Modernity has not included vulnerability as a language, as a cultural principle or as a sensibility.

Somers Town Vulnerable Communities The project starting point was looking at Vulnerable Communities in Somers Town as ‘CutOut’ communities, cut-out of previous environments and placed in a new one or having their environment cut-out from around them. The scheme aims to re-construct a new living diverse environment to connect these communities to benefit form one another.

Maybe only the technical rise of lighter materials and the use of previously considered weak techniques could suppose an attempt to face vulnerability as a main characteristic of the inhabitable world after Modernity. But this shy flirt with weakness did not mean Modernity could easily evolve to care for vulnerable realities. The first reason we will uphold for this is that in fact Modern traditions are still fighting for a first set of objectives that has never been fully achieved. The second reason is that Modernity is not only lacking anthropological and ecological clues on its route but includes logic and thought principles that are directly incompatible with those perspectives. Dare to Care, is a proposal to go beyond modern traditions on design and to face a new set of goals less “manifesto format” and more build up through others’ contributions and benefit achievements. ‘Dare to Care’ encourages design to empower identified ‘vulnerable communities’ ignored by the ‘modern world,’ through regognition of human vulnerablities and consideration of spaces of protection, intimacy and closeness. Condsideration of building merely as ‘construction’ is challenged and ‘good architecture’ is distinguished through use of different materials and methods of construction as well as careful consideration of the impact of the building on all involved and affected and the environmental and social implications of programme and construction.


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Redefining Public/Shared Spaces:

use and effects of communal spaces in housing

The project aims to create more “social� spaces in Ampthill Square Housing Estate, Somers Town, Camden, improving and extending existing private and public spaces and providing new community facilities on site, attempting to combat social isolation through encouragement of community interaction. The Social Housing scheme for Ampthill Square Estate aims to create model project for possible future housing strategies in other estates in the borough or nationwide, creating direct access onsite community facilities and services on a small scale.

completely public shared space

openly observed interaction

unease and discomfort

open to anyone and overlooked

brings strangers close to home

forced interaction

withdrawal and avoidance


non-specific programme or use

no feeling of purpose or ownership of space

spaces left unused

crime in disused spaces

fear of using spaces

protected social spaces

more private interaction

designed for specific community needs

motive to use space, not forcing interaction

comfortable setting to meet neighbours

spaces used and inhabited regularly

good community relationships

more humanscale spaces for smaller groups

less intimidating, more attractive spaces

natural surveillance through use

feeling of security

The project will focus primarily on community groups for which environmental and social isolation is a major problem, providing specialized spaces and services for their needs. In particular the scheme aims to empower new migrant women in Somers Town from Bangladeshi, Somali, Ethiopian and other minority communities and combat isolation, mental health problems and depression through social opportunities and networks, development of language and working skills and involvement in the local community. The project aims to give them time off from family care responsibilities through care exchange services, giving more time for social and other activities.

smaller enclosed shared spaces

These women make up one of the largest groups resident in the estate during the daytime and will play a key role in construction, management, running and maintenance of the facilities.

Key Project Aims:

social housing

Key Social and Architectural Aims in Simultaneous Project Stages:

-Empower the women and through increased social opportunities, community involvement and development of working skills -Improve and extend social living spaces on a gradient from private to public -Give opportunity for increased social interaction between neighbours whilst avoiding forced encounters

Project Introduction

Social Housing Agenda

improve social living spaces on a gradient from private to public

give opportunity for increased social interaction between neighbours

set up a network of time and labour share and exchange through established connections

give access tospecialised social and community spaces for specific community needs

extend existing kitchen and living room spaces opened up to neighbours

create new garden spaces for social encounters and connect towers

provide spaces within existing towers for childcare and home care exchange

construct library, play and exercise centre, teaching rooms, gardens and communtiy hall

-Set up a network of time, labour and services exchange -Provide easy access to otherwise inaccessible or inconvenient community facilities and services, providing specialised spaces for specific community needs -Make the facilities as self-sufficient as possible through energy and water harvesting and sharing of spaces and services.


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Social Actions Animating key social interactions of the project


grow chat

Zoetrope VIdeo





Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Community Members

“i was very lonely when i got here, at home with just my baby. now i have some friends but i only see them at the [hopscotch asian women’s] centre”

In conversations with members of Somers Town community it was clear that more social interaction between groups was needed. Although the new project will be for the whole of Ampthill Square Estate community it will have a particular focus on the needs of new migrant women as a community group with specific social needs and a particular difficulty in regard to access and use of existing community facilies and communal spaces.

“My mum. She’s joined the gym recently. Every day she comes back and she’s just like so excited. Oh I did this at the gym today. She gets to socialise ”

“a lot of these ladies go to sewing classes to learn how to sew. With my mum – She suffers from depression so it’s a way to escape and socialise and just get away from everything like just moping around at home and just thinking”

“she would always be laughing with the other village ladies when they went to the pond [back in bangladesh] but there’s nowhere to do that here”

“back in bangladesh she could just pop round to all her friends’ house and they did washing and swimming and stuff together but here she stays at home. i think thats why she got depressed”

“i think that it’s true that men have taken that space so it really doesn’t leave very much room for women to be able to use the space”

Project Introduction

Comments on problems with access to public space and services and social isolation from local Bangladeshi women

“more and more these ladies are beginning to be allowed to take advantage of these things like the classes, the gyms, opportunities to socialise and get out there and that”

“there are children running around making so much noise. I am scared to let them play outside. Instead they play indoors and fight with each other; sometimes that can really stress you out – I can’t stand too much noise, my head just heats up”

Members of Somers Town Community were asked about issues/difficulties in their home/community life and how they might solve them...

ampthill square estate:

hopscotch asian women’s centre:

ravenscroft primary school:


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

-Extend and optimise existing living room spaces -Connect neighbours with shared balcony garden spaces -Replace demolished community hall with a large flexible use space -Flexible teaching rooms and function spaces for community courses, groups and societies -Spaces for homecare and childcare exchange services for resident migrant women, their families and the wider community -On site easily accessible play, leisure and sports facilities, catering for varying community requirements and needs, with single sex and private exercise spaces -Library with community curating of cultural and language collections with public and private reading rooms -Protected private and public gardens with small scale community crop cultivation projects -Minimise energy consumption and harvest solar, wind and vibrational energy from the site to cater for increased energy consumption of new facilities

Programmes, Spaces and Requirements: Back Gardens Balcony garden spaces on all floors of the three towers Micro wind-farm facade Openable extensions to existing living rooms Solar privacy curtains Childcare Access from within towers Baby nursery Indoor soft play space for 1-6 year-olds with adjoining enclosed outdoor deck Climbing and adventure play for 7-11 year-olds Small kitchen with dining area

HomeCare Access from within towers Lounge and dining room Games room Enclosed outdoor garden/terrace Small kitchen with dining area Bathroom with bath/shower facilities Adjoining to teaching space for courses

Project Introduction


Adult and children’s toilet Washing and baby changing room Outdoor skate park space for teenagers

Fitness Centre Access from within towers Single sex changing rooms Enclosed women-only gym space Mixed gym space Curtained games deck Children’s play area Lounge and Drop-In Mixed soft-furnished lounge Women-only soft-furnished lounge Hidden garden spaces Kitchen facilities Access from within towers for residents and from Harrington Square for neighbourhood Library Main collection space Reception and Issue Desk Large public reading room Small private reading rooms Teaching spaces for between 5-30 student class sizes Computer room Teaching resources storage Offices Site office for community-build Facilites anagement and maintenance offices Adjoining to women’s lounge Connected to all facilities Gardens Open public garden Private raised garden spaces Vertical spice and vegetable gardens


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Project Introduction

client, funding and users The client for the project is Camden Council and it to be funded by a mixture of different sources. Primary funding would come from Camden Council and the UK Department of Transport HS2 Compensation scheme for reconstruction of demolishedcommunity and play area. Construction, management and running costs will be reduced due to community participation and in-


Compensation Scheme compensation for loss of land and rebuilding of demolished community centre

funding renewable enrgy installations funding adult eductaion and employment


Ampthill Square Tenants Association

encouraging development and integration amongst local asian women in camden

ampthill square estate management and residents

all-female run organisation, aiding integration, sport and eductation amongst somali women and children

long-term financing and management:

Gender and Employment in Local Labour Markets (GELLM) Comittee

supporting self-sufficiency and city farming projects

eductaional courses and resources paid for by camden council

local community

staff, up-keep and running of the centre paid for by income from charges for use of the centre facilities by local community


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Site Analysis

Site: ampthill square estate, hampstead road, London The project is sited in and around existing local authority and ex-local authority housing in three high-rise tower blocks (Gillfoot, Oxenholm and Dalehead) in Ampthill Square Estate, Hampstead Road, Somers Town. The estate also comprises adjacent 5-floor housing blocks and in total houses 366 dwellings and over 1000 people.

Site History:

The three existing concrete towers were built between 19651967 and re-clad with white plastic panels and red, blue and yellow rims in 1988. The towers have 21 storeys, with 4 flats on each floor, arranged around a circulation core. A renewal project by Sprunt Architects re-landscaped the green space around the site and fenced it off from public access and was completed in 2008. The towers are supported on concrete columns at ground floor level and these entrance spaces remained open until they were walled up in the 2008



dalehead ampthill square estate

somers town 10

Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Site Analysis

Site Context Plan 1:2500

The site is positioned on the junction between Hampstead Road (A600) and Harrington Square (a400) in Somers Town, Camden. The existing 21-storey 1960s residential tower blocks overlook the trainlines leading into Eusaton Station. The project will be focused in and around the these blocks.

euston station ham


mornington crescent tube station




ampthill square estate

ampthill square community facility


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Site Analysis

HS2 high speed rail demolition

The proposed HS2 route from London Euston to Birming ham Moor Street is set demolish Ampthill Square Estate’s current community centre and children’s playground. The UK Department of Transport will be responsible for funding replacement of both facilities, as well as compensation to Camden Council for public land that is to be lost from the perimeter of the site. Construction is not set to commence until 2016. Consultation processes are currently underway however to determine when compensation can be given. Though the trains will be travelling at low speeds past the site, ground-bourne vibrations as well as mechanical noise from motors, fans and ancillary equipment on the trains as well as will contibute to the current noise pollution on the site. This should also be a consideration for the structural scheme.


ampthill square estate ampthill square playground community centre

site estate land for removal buildings for demolition

proposed hs2 route

ampthill square playground community centre


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Site Analysis

design site issues to be addressed

Issues with the site and existing buildings that the new scheme aims to address

crampt, under-used balcony spaces

small windows

under-used public space

site railings and locks towers overlooking railway lines

1:1000 13

Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Site Analysis

Noise Pollution and Air Quality Noise Pollution: The towers overlook the train lines leading into Euston Station and as a result the site currently suffers from noise pollution from trains going in and out of Euston. The proposed new high-speed HS2 rail lines will increase this considerably. Busy Hampstead Road also contributes to noise pollution, as well as contributing to air pollution from car fumes.

site receiving up to 70 dB of rail sound pollution

site receiving between 60-75 dB of traffic sound pollution

Site sir containing more than 50 µg/m3 Nitrogen Oxide

Site air exceeds PM10 value (50 μg m−3 pollutants) for more than 50 days of the year

Air Quality: The site is positioned on a junction of main roads where the air pollution values excced the PM10 value for airbourne pollutant particles for more than 50 days of the year Busy Hampstead Road also contributes to noise pollution, as well as contributing to air pollution from car fumes. The site receives more than rrr50 g/mcubed of nitrogen dioxide and


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Camden Unitary Development Plan: Fulfilling UDP Overall Aims: -With reference to specific policies

Planning Policies

Camden Planning Policies

-Making sure development meets our needs, now and in the future Introduced passive systems and energy-generating interventions will minimise energy useage from the grid for existing housing and new build structures will aim to be completely self-sustaining -Meeting the housing needs of Camden’s population Improvements and extensions to existing homes provide additional flexible use space for existing housing stock -Producing an environmentally sustainable pattern of land use and reducing the need to travel Community services provided with direct access to homes on Ampthill Square Estate and easy access from surrounding Somers Town, Regents Park Estate and Camden Town communities -Helping to improve and protect amenity and quality of life Safe, enclosed spaces are provided for back gardens, childcare and homecare services . Public spaces and services are made safer through natural surveillance with increased habitation of spaces -Protecting and enhancing our environment Any green space taken up in the construction of new buildings will be replaced in elevated and vertical gardens. New gardens and planting, along with new landscaped public gardens will provide vegetation zoning and specific habitats for endangered and threatened species -Providing facilities for all members of the community New community facilities will be designed to specfic community needs and be made easily accessible to all residents and members of the neighbouring community. -Improving economic prosperity and diversity Spaces for child and adult education courses and training catering for specific access and design requirments creates an inclusive learning centre for all. This involves all members of the community and providing valuable knowledge capital and increasing employment opportunities. The migrant women will also be encouraged to develop management and employable skills through the running of the centre. -Balancing the needs of residents with the Borough’s London-wide role The project will provide for the Ampthill residents and neighbouring communities directly, as well as presenting a flagship model for sustainable and social urban living within the capital.


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Euston Planning Framework: Specific area future planning framework, indicating how aspects of the Euston area may successfully and sustainably change in the future, highlights Ampthill Square Estate as a potential site for redevelopment and an important site affected by planned construction works. 4. Townscape Character: To the north of the station is the Ampthill estate, a 1960’s Camden housing estate which is somewhat divorced from the area by the current station and the sunken railway tracks, as well as the urban motorway character of Hampstead Road and circulatory system.

Planning Policies

Camden Local Development Strategies:

A9. Significant sites, places and spaces: Potential development sites and areas likely to experience change in the vicinity of proposed redevelopment of Euston station itself. Within this area there are number of large sites which may come forward for development in addition to any development on the station site itself.

These are: 1) The railway carriage sheds at Granby Terrace 2) The former BHS depot site at 132-142 Hampstead Road 3) The National Temperance Hospital in Hampstead Road 4) The Euston Police Garage in Drummond Crescent 5) Phoenix Road School 6) Ampthill Estate


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Building Form and Systems

Building Form The project involves two main structural strategies, which will connect at different points in the scheme. Main structural frameworks will be constructed professionally and linings, skins and coverings will be constructed, altered and maintained by the women and resident community.

working 3d model

The extended living spaces and new balconies will be hung from the existing tower structure. Light weight steel truss supports will fix to existing concrete columns with tensioned steel cables keeping structural rigidity and minimising shear forces at the beams’ extremities by taking part of the load down through interior concrete columns. The existing foundations will be reinforced with micropiles and the existing structural concrete columns will be frp reinforced to accommodate new loads.

decks enclose existing trees

New hyperbolic steel frame tower structures containing protected social spaces as well as services and circulation will support bridges and garden platforms connecting balcony spaces to programmes within the new towers. Bridges will be supported by a steel cable and bar tensegrity structural system, tensioned from the new and existing towers with aluminium floor trays, Skins of varying materials and properties will line the inside of the tower structures and create protected spaces for community programmes. The structural reinforcements and new build primary steel framework structures will be constructed professionally but softer lining and skin materials and interior interventions in the existing are as lightweight and simple as possible to enable the resident community to construct their spaces themselves, giving opportunity to partake in design decisions as well as physical assembly. Training, supervision and tool and materials kits will be provided for this stage of construction. A tensegrity network of steel bars and cables will hold the outer ptfe skin of the façade in tension around the towers, which will act as a primary weather barrier. Under this first layer, a secondary layer of insulation.....

steel frame towers enclose private functions, circulation, fire escape and services raised decks connect towers and provide shared outdoor space


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Building Form and Systems

User Comfort and Experience

AcousticsAs the project involves interventions within existing buildings with potentially noisy activities (e.g. play in childcare spaces) adjoining to residential spaces, sound insulation is important. Sound insulation from noise pollution from Hampstead Road and existing and proposed new high-speed rail lines will be essential in quiet spaces such as the library and teaching rooms Creating private spaces within a public landscape means that acoustic privacy will also be an issue ThermalOutdoor and semi-outdoor shared social spaces should be as comfortable and useable as possible both in summer and winter Extensions and alterations will be made to existing flats; creating changeable facades that can be opened in summer, but also provide good thermal insulation in winter

working model

LightingShading should be provided to south-facing tower facades during summer, whilst maximising solar gain in winter Maximum daylight should be allowed all year round on all north-facing facades Daylight needs to be brought in to under-landscape spaces through roof-lights and cut-in gardens Day lighting in all spaces should be maximized, whilst views between some spaces will need to be controlled and limited VentilationPassive cooling should be achieved during summer by maximizing airflow through residential spaces in the towers Polluted air should be filtered and cleaned to achieve maximum air quality inside residential and shared work and leisure spaces


Claire Taggart 22 1:200 Social Housing Fifth Floor Unit Plan

BENVGA08 Design Realisation


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Section 1:200 21

Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Building Form and Systems

Floor Plans 1:1000 New towers rise out of landscaped garden, supporting shared communal decks connecting all new and old towers at different levels, providing connections between existing and new programmes

G 1


Building Form and Systems


10 8

Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

-working plan 1:100

living room extension retractable living room wall opens social space to neighbours

Building Form and Systems

Extensions to the Existing

green wall gardening trellis

connecting balcony spaces

Supports attach to existing carbon fibre-reinforced columns

greenhouse/ kitchen extension in winter and open garden in (nice days) in summer


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Cantilvered steel supports fix to existing reinforced concrete columns to support extended living rooms and new balcony garden spaces. Glass facade slides back to open entire living space to balcony.

cantivevered steel floor supports garden trellis

Building Form and Systems

Back Gardens

cable net ballustrade

steel cable net bracing

micro wind turbines

extended private living rooms

shared balcony spaces retractable living room wall


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Building Form and Systems

Order of Interventions into the Existing Underpinning foundations, FRP reinforcement of structure, demolition and insertion into the existing flats


underpin existing

concrete supports

additional floors



reinforced with frp


mini piling machine


fits into ground floor to reinforce tower’s existing foundations

Renovations floorby-floor from top down balcony extension cantilever supports fixed to newly reinforced concrete

roof truss structure rested on columns and tensioned cables support bal-

floor structure and new living room amd kitchen facades inserted

cony spaces (floor by floor)



Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

The interventions in the existing flats will happen whilst the residents are still living there, so should be carried out as quickly as possible with minimum disruption to residents.

Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic Wrap

FRP Wrap


strip plastic

remove existing

reinforce columns with frp



balcony walls

fabric wrapping

demolish living room wall

fix strengthening tensile ca-

lay steel-frame

(insert temporary block-

ble network from beams (brac-

flooring tray

ing facade) and Fix steel balcony cantilever supports to existing (reinforced) columns

ing and stiffening structure)

Building Form and Systems

Flat InterventionsProcess of Construction

Install Sliding wall rail system and panels


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

The main access to the scheme will be from within the towers with ground floor access from under the towers and new balcony platforms connecting homes to the new scheme. There will also be general public access through the library and circulation tower connecting all floors containing fire stairs and lift.

Access and Circulation

Access and Routes through the site

Plan shows existing pedestrian access to towers, vehicle access, parking, proposed and current frequently-used pedestrian routes through the site (recorded from site visits at different times of day).

Key Key Pedestrian PedestrianAccess Accessand andRoutes Routes Vehicle VehicleAccess Access Parking Parking School SchoolRun Run Access Accessfrom fromwithin withinexisting existing towers towers

Fifth Floor Plan 1:500


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Public toilets will be housed in a central circulation core, providing one cubicle per floor with an exit to a platform. Existing services in own homes will be used by majority of users who will be residents. Electricity supply will be from circulation core and cables fixed and enclosed under main platforms. Cables will run along underside of circulation spirals in towers

Building Form and Systems

Building Systems

Key Pedestrian Access and Routes Vehicle Access Parking School Run Access from within existing towers


Water supply and drainage electricity supply

Fifth Floor Plan 1:500 30

Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation


Lighting New balcony gardens provide shading to south-facing facades and block views of railway with deeper balconies Tower skins allow diffused daylight into interior spaces whilst blocking direct sunlight and glare

solar energy gathered by day is used to light spaces at night

summer- balconies provide shading from direct sunlight



ambient light

r sun

ambient light




ambient light




winter- low winter sun reaches inside flats



balconies block view of rail tracks from inside flats

tower skins allow daylight to penetrate

library, reading rooms and teaching spaces shaded from direct sunlight


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Fire Strategy

Fire Strategies and Escape Routes Ground Floor 1:500

Spiral ramps within new towers connecting externally to facades of the exisiting towers provide alternative escape routes from existing flats as well as from new programmes.

Fire Engine Access

A central protected fire escape stair provides escape routes from all raised platform spaces. The estate currently operates a floor-by floor evacuation strategy, which will be maintained with the new scheme

Fire- May 2011 First floor flat facade destroyed and smoke damage to floors above due to fire started by a discarded cigarette in Gillfoot tower. Disconnected fire alarms meant people were first made aware of the fire when smoke came into their homes. Existing fire alarm system will be improved and and a sprinkler system will be fitted into all flats. Flats are fitted with 30 mins fire-resistant front doors and fire doors between corridor and circulation spaces.


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Fire Strategy

Fifth Floor

Exisiting fire escape

external escape from new towers

Central access tower with lift and fire escape stair

Fireproof fabrics and membarnes will be used in cladding and skins of the towers

New steel structures will be treated with intumescent paint to protect it for up to 2 hours.

Alternative Escape Routes

Balconies serve as external escape route

Escape up or down to deck level

Spiral ramps serve as secondary escape route

spiral escape route up or down to connecting platform


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

The tower will use steel frame lattice construction to gain maximum structural rigidity and load bearing capacity with minimum material useage. Floor slabs will be supported by these tower structures at meeting points as well as by additional steel suspension cables

Tension Killesbergturm Observation Tower, Stuttgart, JĂśrg Schlaich 40m high steel mast and prestressed tensioned cable net structure. The cable net is tensioned from the top of the mast to grounded anchors, supporting the platforms and suspended staircases. As the cable net compresses the four platforms against the central mast, thransferring the load, the cables take a reduced load, allowing their tiny diameter of 18mm.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas, Santiago Calatrava

Building Form- Structure

Hyperboloid Tower Structural References

40m high steel mast and prestressed tensioned cable net structure. The cable net is tensioned from the top of the mast to grounded anchors, supporting the platforms and suspended staircases. As the cable net compresses the four platforms against the central mast, thransferring the load, the cables take a reduced load, allowing their tiny diameter of 18mm.

Compression Sendai Meditheque, Sendai, Toyo Ito Structural steel frame cores support floor slabs whilst acting as building circulation cores, connecting floors

Shukov Tower, Moscow, Shukov Built 1920-1922, Vladimir Shukov’s tower reaches 148.5m in height and uses a lightweight hyperbolic peraboloid form lattice steel frame. Due to the structural integrity of its diagonal lattice form, it uses a third of the metal used per metre of height for the Eiffel Tower.


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Test Model

Structural principles of tensegrity will be used for additional facade structures on the existing and for skin systems applied to the new towers.

cables in tension

bars in compression

Building Form- Structure

Tensegrity Cable network

testing different configurations


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Decks will be supported by hyperboloid towers. Pre-tensioned steel cables fix to structure along the perimeter of circulation spiral structure. This will distribute the load around the structure, minimizing issues with imbalance. Experimenting with constructing paraboloid cable net structures from spiral edge to platform edges


cables anchored at points of contact with reinforcing spiral structure

Building Form- Structure

Parametric Experiments for Towers and Cable Supports

tension cables transfer load to structure other tower structures share platfrom load

skin tensioned around structure

parabolic crossed cable net hangs from structure to support platform structure spreads load over wide area of ground through splayed structural members

basic load forces


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

The tower will use steel frame lattice construction to gain maximum structural rigidity and load bearing capacity with minimum material useage. An outer bar and cable network system will act as a framework for adaptive skin systems to be applied on different areas of the facade by residents.

spiral circulation route braces tower structure

lattice structure gives rigidity

Building Form- Structure

Hyperboloid Tower Structures

bar and cable network for skins or vegetation

thermal padding skin panels floors inserted into central spaces weatherproof external membrane

spaces dressed with screens and skins by residents to protect and adapt spaces

climbing plants- e.g honeysuckle, ivy, jasmine


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Building Form- Structure

Skins Each of the towers will use a combination of three skin types at different locations and for different functions. These will be constructed and adapted by the women and other residents and will attach to a cable-stayed system as shown above. Central interior tower spaces will also be dressed and lined as required by the residents. Cable Net Structure: Exterior anchor bars with tensioned cable net provide a framework for tensioning skins from. Lightweight skin panels can be applied and taken away by the women

bars and tension cable net

Semi-Open: Tensile ptfe or other fabric panels stretch between exterior pin bars, providing a visual barrier or shading whilst allowing light in and free air movement through the spaces

open tensile fabric panels

Weather Coat: Complete tensile skin cover provides wind and rain-proofing Quilting: Inflatable and lightweight thermal membrane-lined pillows to be provided as kits for self-assembly. Gardens: The interior façade of the structure will be dressed in a lightweight clip-on steel cable net acting as a giant trellis for climbing plants, seasonal flowers and hedgerows. Planting pots will line the edges of the walkways to plant climbing berry plants, seasonal flowers and vegetables. Climbing plants such as ivy and honeysuckle will be planted at the base of the framework structure and allowed to grow up the tower façade, creating habitats for local endangered wildlife such as hedgerow birds, bees and insects. Tensile …….fabric skins stretched across segments of facades and walkways provide shelter from wind and rain in winter and shade in summer. Library Spaces: Library, reading room and teaching spaces need to be well sound and thermally insulated. Exterior tensile cable nets will hold tensile skins Play/Fitness Centre: Individual tensile fabric panels provide visual privacy

trellis structures for

inflated pillow skin

lightweight high thermal

open tensile fabric

clibing plants


performance fabrics

screening and shading


Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Building Form- Structure

Constructing a Landscape Land to be removed and wall to be demolished for HS2 lines. Removed land to be used to construct a landscape for the scheme, as well as a sound and sight barrier along the site perimeter to protect from increased noise and disruption. Bricks to be used in gabions for retaining walls for cut-in gardens in landscape

recycling bricks in structure

wall and land to be demolished for HS2

constructing new landscapes with removed earth 39

Claire Taggart Unit 22 Social Housing BENVGA08 Design Realisation

Interventions in the existing building facade aim to increase thermal performance and energy efficiency in the flats. The project will also collect rainwater for use in toilets and to water plants. Small energy collecting and scavenging devices wille be encorporated into the existing building fabric as much as possible, e.g. photovoltaic solar curtains and micro-wind turbines. These devices will be made and easily managed by the resident community and will not put strain on the existing or new structures, as larger solar panels or wind turbines might.

Current Energy Ratings for dwellings in Oxenholme Tower

Environmental and Energy Performance

Environmental and Energy Performance

small scale vibrational, solar and wind harvesting devices


Claire's DR Draft  

Claire's DR Draft

Claire's DR Draft  

Claire's DR Draft