Panoramic Refuge for London
This is a polemical project that challenges the mundane and the norm in social housing provisions. Conceived as a temporary housing project for this in urgent need of shelter, the project was inspired by interviews with potential tenants who wanted a place of distinctive identity that they could call home. This led to a fundamental rethink of how social housing can and should be a place of spatial, material and aesthetic richness. Informed by Galaxy Soho in Beijing and Casa Mila in Barcelona the project is a voluptuously curved building punctured by generous courtyards/light-wells. The form of the building allows for the creation of dual aspect duplex apartments with panoramic views across south London with continuous balconies that wrap around the entire facade where neighbours can greet each other. Circulations is economised and is every other floor, accompanied by covered outdoor spaces residents can make into their own. At the ground level a library, a gallery, a nursery, a gym and a cafe that connects the project with the wider neighbourhood. At the top a greenhouse with panoramic views across the city for the public. The income of these will offset the cost of the building and maintenance in the long run.