Jonas Andresen, Year 4, PG13 2020

Responsive City

This project begins by considering how we can restock housing and densify society by exploring current building regulations. This project is particularly focused on the notion of overlooking. The “structure” of overlooking, that is both how overlooking can mean to provide a view of and to oversee (as in not seeing), are translated into regulations, social interactions and architecture.

The project is located around Alton Estate’s slab blocks which were built in the 1950’s and based on the utopian modernist ideals of Unite d’Habitation. Today, however, the Estate deals with a series of social problems.

The most unsettling of which is the way that the physical and mental aspects of life have been disconnected from their surroundings.

This project picks up on these problems and tries to deal with them through the concept of overlooking. As a result, the project creates an ecosystem of overlooking and a housing typology that stems from its immediate surroundings. This form of housing questions our understanding of public and private spaces as well as the individual and the community.

The project takes part of a larger regeneration plan for the Alton Estate and restocks the Estate with 225 new dwellings. The following document jumps between scales, moving between the bird’s-eye view of the entire development to zooming in on one house. This project investigates how inhabiting a single household to directly relates to the household’s surroundings and how this reflects back on the entire community.

As part of developing this scheme, this project investigates what it means to live in transparency as the dwellings are mainly constructed of glass. By utilizing glass, this project investigates how glass responds to social and environmental conditions.

Does considering “overlooking” in all stages of the process create stronger bonds between the inhabitants and help build a stronger community? And does it help nurture an environment which is more responsive to both social, economic and environmental changes?

August 18, 2020