Two architecture students from London, UK have created a unique master plan that aims to connect local community members and those who are socially disenfranchised. It proposes to provide homes in a faster, easier and cheaper way to refugees, homeless families, indebted students, people with high rent fees (Generation Rent), and poor people.

Why?

“2015 saw London’s growing population surpass 8.6 million. With no signs of slowing, at least 40,000 new homes per year are needed to house new residents.

In addition to this, 25,771 people applied for asylum in the UK as of June 2015. David Cameron has pledged to resettle 20,000 refugees in the UK by 2020, and if recent events in Germany are anything to take example from, the magnetic pull of a capital city could prove a likely destination.

The number of homeless families living in B&Bs has hit a 12 year high in England and it is estimated that only 20% 25-34 year olds will be on the property ladder by the end of the decade. Consequently, 48% of the same age are now renting compared to 21% 10 years ago. This 48% are spending half of their total earning on rent, hence why our age group are being called ‘Generation Rent’.” Says in the project brief.

What was the idea?

“Where could we design a ‘rapidly deployable home’ giving us the chance to listen to the poor and stay for a while? How about in our own back garden? Ourselves. The stage is set.”

The result.

“If we were to create community land trusts and lobby for underused land in pockets of opportunity within each of our areas a difference could be made. We are proposing for a site near Fairlop waters in Greater London, bordering Essex, to be developed into a meadow of self-build affordable houses, situated within a self-sufficient community. This community will hope to provide homes and a new start for the the socially disenfranchised, whether indebted students, the homeless or refugees. The site aims to have three typologies. The central hub and communal gathering space. The civic buildings and stations of economic activity. And the home.

The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless families The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless families9bay visual

Let’s end with tying in a double meaning of our central Hub and utilising language as a technology for design. Hub is thought to have originated from the word describing the solid central part of a wheel. In which case, our central hub could metaphorically be seen as the nucleus of our community, something with rigidity and security, just the same way a wheel’s center gives strength. Hubb also means love in Arabic and comes from the root word Habba, which means a seed. A seed is an embryonic plant that has the potential to grow into another plant. But the strength of that new plant depends on the nurturing it was initially given. Our Hub hopes to act as this seed. The initial seed for knowledge, the seed to nurture horticultural and human growth, the seed of provision, from where it’s offshoots hope to create ‘rapidly deployable homes’.”

The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless families The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless familiesvisual and sitesection The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless families The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless familiessite plan The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless families The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless familieshub visual The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless families The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless familiesGeo Dome The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless families The Meadow: a social architecture project for refugees and homeless familiesexploded axo

If you are interested in this project, you can contact Elliot Anthony Dunn or Zaeem Ahmed.

Source: Project Brief 

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