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Henry Sykes

MA work

Fleet Vs Street

Cities in 1898 when Ebenezer Howard first proposed his Garden City model would have been very different places from the once we inhabit today. Environmentally we have made enormous progress, but high land and property values are forcing growing, working populations further out into new peripheral developments.

Fleet Vs Street focuses instead on the enormous demand for affordable living options within our existing cities, London in particular. Regents canal is 8.6 miles of early nineteenth-century infrastructure that weaves its way through the centre of the most expensive city in world. Once vital for transporting goods, it is today home to approximately 5,000 people on more than 3,000 house boats, which are allowed to exist through the ‘continuous cruisers’ loophole.

Rather than consigning this infrastructure and vital source of affordable housing to a mere ‘heritage’ status as is currently planned, the project looks at ways of prolonging and improving its existence. By linking the Canal & River Trust to a housing association in each of the five central London boroughs through which the canal passes, I hope to cement this new chapter of the canal's life. The variety of expanding modules created will offer flexible, sustainable living conditions for water bound residents and further enhance the strong community ties present in communities which float.

With land no longer a factor in determining where my architecture can or cannot be built, my responsive community can expand and drift through urban, rural or flooded landscapes across the country, assembling and disassembling itself in response to the needs of its inhabitants and the changing context around it.


  • MA Degree


    School of Architecture


    MA Architecture, 2015



  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Architecture BA, University of Nottingham, 2011
  • Experience

  • Architectural assistant, HWCD Associates, Shanghai, 2012–13
  • Exhibitions

  • RIBA Headquarters, Presidents Medals, 2011
  • Awards

  • Nominee, RIBA Bronze Medal Award, 2011