Select a SchoolSchool of Architecture
Select a ProgrammeArchitecture
Select a StudentSamuel Evans
Remaking Hortus Conclusus: Exploring Alternatives to Regeneration and Demolition
The shortage of housing in London is framed as a problem that can only be solved by the production of ‘more’ housing. Housing targets set by Central Government and the Greater London Authority are aimed at incentivising production to create growth for the financial market. There is little mention of increased net housing in either housing policy or the London Development Plan, as a result of this, the regeneration of housing estates in London is thriving. Housing estates, that once replaced the slum housing of the 19th century, are now being replaced themselves in a production model of cradle to grave that is all too familiar.
There are currently 198 estates across London at risk of, or currently in the process of regeneration.
Regeneration is defined as;
' [ verb ] Improve – to improve a place or system, especially by making it more active or successful '
Clearly this is a misleading term used to coerce current occupants of a better alternative when the actuality of the situation is that most regeneration projects lead to a complete demolition of the current material, only for it to be replaced anew. This process is both socially and environmentally destructive at a time when the architectural profession needs to rethink the way we value existing material, to approach it with much greater consideration and concern.
In response to the research undertaken, Remaking Hortus Conclusus seeks to discover new forms of architectural practice to change the currently damaging archetype, demolish and rebuild. Unlike many current spatial practitioners, the project is proactive rather than reactive. Looking for opportunity rather than in protest to a current situation. By doing this, the project aims to change the rhetoric of the industry and initiate design solutions before regeneration projects are already underway. Working with council estates, the project aims to create increased ‘value’ in existing material through multiple strategies focusing on bettering currently under-utilised public goods.
While the project culminates in a proposal for Patmore Estate it should not be site specific, but instead function as a template and guide for true regeneration. The project outlines that regeneration is not a complex and unviable option as many industry experts would lead you to believe, but is instead a progressive and intelligent way to tackle the housing shortage and environmental crisis that we currently face.
School of Architecture
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An architectural practitioner and maker exploring new spatial discourses to re-examine, re-think, and re-design systems we’ve inherited from past forms of architectural practice in order to serve the public good.
- BA Architecture, University of Plymouth, 2015
- Architectural assistant, Haverstock, London 2016–18; Architectural assistant, Architect Designer Maker ltd, London, 2019