Guildford Borough is 89 per cent Metropolitan Green Belt making it impossible for the Council to meet housing targets set by the current government. In October 2013 the Guildford Borough Council outlined plans to declassify 16 of the Boroughs villages of their green belt status in a bid to create developable land. This decision has met strong opposition from local residents who place high value on the Green Belt land which protects their villages from over development.
Modern Life on Rubbish proposes an alternative solution, creating a shift in perception of what constitutes valuable land. Taking the borough's Landfill Sites and declassifying them of their green belt status could create enough developable land to provide all of the Borough housing needs for the next 25 years.
Albury Sands - just outside Guildford - is proposed as a test site exploring the potential for housing on landfill. The challenges in this are both technical - how to build on mountains if waste - and cultural: how do we make them desirable places to live.
The project has therefore developed a picturesque of waste, drawing on legacies of the picturesque and of classical landscape painting to add value to an overlooked and unloved site.
This approach draws on the site's evolution from woodland, to sandpit to man-made landscape and extends the history of Albury Sands 25 years into the future via a process of managed remediation. Elements of landfill infrastructure are retained proudly as civic monuments while new terrace houses are constructed to form an inhabited viaduct: modern life on rubbish.