James Blackburn
Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Media, Arts and Social Science Liverpool
United Kingdom

Project idea

For my thesis proposal the question is: it
possible to bring the agricultural industry into
an urban environment that can be managed on
a human scale, reconnecting the relationship
between the human being, nature and
agriculture into a building that will create a
new model on what social housing could be.
The design will focus on a community driven
programme of different types of farming
happening on separate levels in the tower. These
different typologies will create a superfarm
that will produce sustainable foods that can be
used within the local community, and traded
within the market hall adjacent to the high-rise.
Furthermore, internal winter gardens will be in
each of the duplex apartments to have independent
growing from the community allotments that
creates a link between nature and the home.

Project description

The site, located in Belgium, Ghent was an old apartment block that was
constructed in 1968 as a new modern social housing scheme. Currently
the building has aged and the homes within are cramped and outdated.
The intention of this thesis is to redevelop this existing building and
re-purpose the structure to create a new model of social housing in a
developing urban environment. This new model will re-establish the
relationship between housing, nature and the human into a modern
scheme that focuses on sustainability and self sufficiency creating a
new architectural and agricultural link in a contemporary city

Technical information

The technical specification for this project was grounded in existing boundaries and specifications being an existing building that was to be repurposed into a new model of design for the future of residential social housing in an urban environment. Working with a existing building created challenges and careful development analysis of the building to create something new and exciting in a new urban landscape.

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