Contesting the Municipal: An alternative future for redundant social housing typologies of the past
This thesis responds to London’s demand for modernised social housing by proposing the re-invention of existing housing stock in lieu of demolition and replacement. A tired housing block in north London scheduled for demolition as part of a wider programme of housing provision forms the focus of this investigation. Instead of demolition, this project argues that the existing building has the attributes and potential for enhancement, meaning that the site can be sustainably re-used. The project explores how existing municipal properties deemed inadequate could be reinvented. Drawing on ideas of co-living and community use, it demonstrates how this existing ‘static’ building embodies possibilities for transformation that includes flexible living and dynamic spaces that can shift according to occupant need. The thesis considers how retrofitted design, congenial to 21st century living, could be deployed through a ‘re-use’ strategy, eliminating the need for demolition. By creating a new primary façade facing a shared garden space, the landscaped terrain mediates between the re-invented housing block and newer housing being proposed for the site. Entrances and circulation have been re-routed, and a new palette of materials deployed within the refurbishment and expansion of existing dwellings.