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DOMESTICATING MODERNIST TOWERS: REMAKING SPACE FOR A MULTIPLICITY OF EVERYDAY USES. UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

Julie Plichon

FACULTY OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

MSc Urban Design and City Planning

BARTLETT SCHOOL OF PLANNING

Supervisor: Dr. Elanor Warwick

LSVT

Spatial and social fragmentation

Defensible space

Right to Buy

1981-1997

1997-now

Public ownership

Diffused nature of tenancy and privatisation

Fragmented open spaces

Public/private ownership

Governance and different scales of privatisation over social housing in the UK

Lack of attachment

Community spaces

Delineate and integrate

2.

Hybrid: orchard

up

Diversity of demands and of uses of the space

More Private

Domestic

Domestic buffer zone

Approach More Public

Community

Hybrid

Orchard

Domestic yard

Community market

3.

Typology

Spaces that are poorly used and reflect fragmented communities. Negative territoriality

Domestic spaces

i

dges e c

Community buffer zone

Market

Community yard

March

Activities Open ended use Small gardens Semi fixed features

Open front gardens

Poor sense of responsibility

Litter

Gardening Compost Cook

Bike racks, social interaction, third places Help the building land softly

General neglect

Seating, watch, play, interact

April

Different paving and materials, well delineated Small surface, open

Nodes: open spaces

Everyday uses

Urban form: towers

Small yard (<0.3, >0.5ha) enclosed with an edge which contributes to the public realm (plants)

Large yard (<0.8 ha)

Residents, quiet

Mainly residents, outsiders through regulated access

85% enclosed

June

Small units or space, open (> 0.3 ha) Small interaction places, porous boundaries

Large yard with porous boundaries

Residents

Residents, outsiders welcome

July August September

Residents, interaction

How to mediate the towers and the public open spaces to sustain a multiplicity of everyday uses?

DY

DB

O

Project focus

M

CY

CB

Based and re-interpretated from Minoura’s work (2016)

Listen to the residents: attend community meetings

“Cities that were dense, compact and continuous have become diffuse, loose and discontinuous, (...) with autonomous and atomized elements which do not relate to each other. This shift has been accompanied by a significant change in scale.” (Levy, 1999: 81)

From residual to social and public space

Moderating factors Mixed use

Lack of sense of community

Nature

Confusion between back and fronts

Landing softly

Lack of enclosure

New edges

Enclosed

Leighton Chase, Crawford, Kaliski, 2008

Open

Porous boundaries

This typology is composed of elements that get assembled and interlock with each other. Hence, as buffer zones link the buildings to the yard, the typology has to be understood as an assemblage of spaces that complement each other.

CASE STUDIES

Cotton Gardens Estate, Lambeth

Evelyn Court, Hackney

Carmona, 2015: 392

Passive participation

Work on banal locations

Active participation

Green infrastructure

Gehl, 2011

CY

Buffer zones

Extracted from Carmona, 2014

Buffer zones

Semi fixed features

Soft and hard controls

Inclusive

Extracted from Carmona, 2014

Same levels

Community spaces

Buffer zones

Yards

Small size, relationship to buildings

Inviting furniture

Inform and discuss

4m 24m

Bike racks

48m

Balance between exposure and enclosure

Signage

Drinking water

Nature

Play

Hybrid: orchard

Informal surveillance (eyes on the street, without a street) Cook

Garden

Community spaces

Buffer zones

Improve the entrances

Plot based urbanism

Reconcile vertical and horizontal with small units

Shelter

Yards

Slopes and steps

Porous boundaries

Hybrid: orchard Consider for all:

Compost

Marking the entrances: legibility

2. Dynamic edges

Community & work space

Interactional territories

Need to create a more complex typology of open spaces mixing domestic and community qualities for a multiplicity of uses along a gradient of publicness

Third places to animate during the day, closed at night

Face to face orientation and invitation Small gardens

Good enclosure (80%) with secondary boundaries (see through)

Third places and mixed use

Leave the design of the space unfinished Unbound points of creativity and resistance (Deleuze, 1996)

More enclosed than other places and quiet than other places

Different textures and soft transitions

1. A gradient of publicness

Seating

Yards

Must allow freedom and quiet for the residents. Sense of ownership.

ty ni

Home territories

Domestic spaces

Yards

Open front gardens

Community space

Shelter

DY

CB

Invitation

ame

Enclosure

Sense of safety

Domestic spaces

A form of becoming at home in the world (Dovey, 2010)

Adaptable

DY

CY

f trust

Domestic qualities

Safety

CB

3. Scaling up: market and social dimension

eo

comfort

Sense of arrival

6 TOOLKIT

sen s

Domestic space

Animation

Legibility

Koch and Latham, 2012

Security: can be closed at night

Well delinated

OBJECTIVES FOR A MULTIPLICITY OF EVERYDAY USES

Domesticating space

Comfort

Test different layouts and be flexible to follow different demands

5 REFLECTION AND ASSESSMENT OF CASE STUDIES Walk through

Relaxation

Invite: leafleting and providing space for free on the market

Buffer: relation to the buildings Yard: relation to the residents

Everyday urbanism

“residual spaces are an opportunity to think differently about public spaces”

Lack of street life

KEY

3 LITERATURE REVIEW

Issues linked to the typology

3 Saturday markets

Users

Research question:

Understanding a typology: towers

Weekly meetings on the estate

May

Form Vicious circle of neglect described by Madanipour, 2008

CH

Post WW2-1981

Social mix

f p u b li c n o t e

Scaling up: the social dimension

SEA R

So cial mix

1.

Tactical urbanism Plot based urbanism

A diversity of every day uses

TIO N R E

Councils

Right to Buy and housing stock transfers

Conceptual framework

n

How?

AC

Housing associations

What for?

Domestic spaces Community spaces

Pavilions in landscape : just a bit of grass around the buildings

Right to buy policy and social mix

GLC

What space?

Literature review

ss

2 PROBLEMATIC

Domesticating space

le

The disused open spaces around the council estates are seen in as a resource to capitalize on for the residents. However these have been fragmented and overly defined by defensible space approaches, while the Right to Buy policy seem to have diffused the nature of ownership in council estates through privatisation. This project focuses on the process of remaking places in the context of modernist high rise towers. The tower blocks floating like “objects in space”, seem to define and interact poorly with open spaces around them which remain abandoned and impersonal, or seen as a setting for anti-social behaviour.

Extraction of design principles

Sca

In the current context of austerity and lack of public funding, estate regeneration often goes with displacement and demolition of council estates, both of which hinder social sustainability. On the other hand the context of high rise social housing does not necessarily create the sense of trust and community necessary to the formation of common interests.

4 METHODOLOGY AND TYPOLOGY

am

Dyn

Most high rise housing estates are here to stay for the decades to come (Kearns, Whitley, Mason, Bond, 2010:227).

A gra di e

1

INTRODUCTION

Memorialise the place Get all the ingredients

Actor network Inform and discuss

Small and modular units

Mixed use for stewarship and a maintainance model

Plot based urbanism: small units Temporary interventions


DOMESTICATING MODERNIST TOWERS: REMAKING SPACE FOR A MULTIPLICITY OF EVERYDAY USES. UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

Julie Plichon

FACULTY OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

MSc Urban Design and City Planning

BARTLETT SCHOOL OF PLANNING

Supervisor: Dr. Elanor Warwick

7 THE SITE: ST GEORGE’S ESTATE, SHADWELL

N

Cable Street

N 0

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50 m

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Scale: 1/1750 20

40

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200m

Defensible space applied through a regeneration in the 2000, resulting in the lack of appropriation of the open spaces

8 INTERVENTIONS: APPLYING THE OPEN SPACES TYPOLOGY AND SCALING UP WITH THE COMMUNITY MARKET New masterplan

CB

1

DY

CB

5

6

4

DB

2

7

O

11 4

DB

CY

8

9

7

DB

6

3

M

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5 9

CB

11

CB

10 O

M

10

0

Evolving market layout: stalls and seating put close to facilitate interaction and passive participation. In 3 weeks the residents gradually took part in the market and ended up running their own stalls: second hand objects, food, bookshop...

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

50 m

The masterplan is accompanied by the visualisations seen previously. On the map, the M caption indicates where the market is happening. The O caption with the associated new work units is an example for a second possible orchard.

Sections Before

Before Building

Ramp

Podium

In between space

Private garden

Building

Undefined grren

Podium

Flower beds

Private garden Confused Flower beds

e street Park 10.5

7

1.5

2.5

2

17.5

23

15.5

3.5

Building Podium Flower beds Domestic buffer zone Domestic yard Community buffer zone Community yard

After

Reduced car parking space

Scale: 1/300

to create a domestic yard

0

5m

10m

9 ASSESSMENT: OBJECTIVES x TYPOLOGY Legibility

DB DY O CY M

Sense of safety

Sense of arrival

15m

20m

10 CONCLUSION: FOCUSING ON THE GENERATIVE ASPECT OF SPACE Animation

Green infrastructure

The typology of open spaces is theoretical enough to allow transferability to other estates or housing developments. It participates to the debate that revolves around defining publicness and domesticity in cities, by seeing beyond the common ‘semi public, semi private’ blurred distinction. The assemblage thinking that proposes the typology, where the different open spaces interlock to one another, is a another key element of the work.

As Gehl argues, the process of remaking places is highly challenging.

“First life, then spaces, then buildings, the other way around never works” (Jan Gehl, 2010:70)

When the buildings are already in place and that demolition threatens social sustainability, analysing on site where the activities already happen highlight where they could be developed. Spaces as ce sa generators sm uil b edia the tors b etween the life and

a Sp

CB

Invitation

The orchard is not crossed by the section lines.

di ng s

After

However, in this project we have argued that space generates activities and uses as it mediates interaction and privacy. When that space is remodelled in an incremental way, life can emerge, even when buildings are already in place. This approach stresses out the generative role of space in the first place.

Major research project in urban design poster  

This poster summarises an urban design project produced at UCL in 2016. The project repurposes unsused spaces on council estates, by creatin...

Major research project in urban design poster  

This poster summarises an urban design project produced at UCL in 2016. The project repurposes unsused spaces on council estates, by creatin...

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