Jolanta Piotrowska, Year 4, PG13 2021

Making Bata Creating a new community workshop, in the times of changing landscape

Making Bata is a project-based in East Tilbury. It focuses on giving back to the community the power of decision-making about town. It provides people with the tools and skills needed to self-build and governs the new community facilities. The project consists of two parts. Part one focuses on activating the local community through reimagining community spaces in East Tilbury. Part two focuses on self-build, community workshops.

East Tilbury today struggles with its identity. The factory buildings and the heritage of Bata Shoe Company overwhelm the narrative around the town. This crisis poses the question if creating a new architectural identity can become an integral part of reviving a community?  Can it be done by increasing the value of the building process itself, making it equally important to the outcome – the building? Making Bata is a place where local makers and residents of East Tilbury could together create a new stronger economy as well as strengthen the local community. It also provides the space to explore the possibility of adapting East Tilbury architecture for future climate change, which will likely put Bata at risk of flooding.

August 31, 2021