Aim: To design a hybrid building taking into consideration a variety of factors.
Population growth/minimal space: With an increase in population within our cities, “global population living in cities is set to increase to 68% by 2050”, we will need to consider not wasting any space. With limited spaces within condensed cities, how can we design buildings to make the most of the surrounding space? How can we accommodate more residents without inflicting on quality of life?
Climate change/sustainability: When designing for the future, we need to ensure that there is a minimum impact on the surrounding environment. How will the buildings we design withhold in the future? They need to be designed to be sustainable and have a low carbon footprint. With climate change rapidly changing our Earth, how can we design to ensure that there will be a positive impact on the environment?
Multiple facilities: How can different functions be united to create our designs? What facilities will be essential now and in the future? We need to include additional facilities that will overall improve residential areas and local life.
My proposal for Peckham would be to introduce more greenery and art areas. It would be beneficial to focus on the commercial areas and how they can be improved through urban agriculture. Can having more nature improve our cities?
Peckham is a very diverse ethnic area, within the area there are many different ethnic restaurants and takeaways. Within the UK, we know that 40% of our food is imported. An idea I want to propose was that there could be communal or private gardens designated to different cuisines. Restaurant or takeaway owners could grow their own ethnic crops right in the area where they sell it or create their dishes. The produce would be fresh, and the owners know exactly where it has come from, and what has gone into the production of these vegetables (chemicals, fertilisers etc). It would be a good opportunity to create new jobs for those who want to employ someone to tend the crops.
With residential communal gardens, it could also be an opportunity to help feed the those in need but also acts as an educational point for the younger generation to learn essential skills. Not only would this bring more exotic foods to the UK, but it would also reduce traffic pollution and lesson the need for long-distance imports.
With growing vegetables in city, it could generate the opportunity for better waste management schemes. Food waste could be used for compost, making natural fertiliser for the crops. It would mean that no grown food goes to waste, it could also generate profit if there is an abundance of fertiliser that can be sold to other companies.
Peckham is a suburban area, so it is dominated by concrete, metal, and brick. There is not much greenery within this area, even where there is empty space. When making the city greener, there would need to be better pathways that are easy to navigate. Thus, making it safer for children and the elderly. More nature would reduce pollution making the air cleaner. An increased amount of green space would encourage exercise and opportunities for pitches and courts to be implemented.
An important aspect of Peckham shops is that they have large openings into the store rather than a small door. This makes the area more inviting and allows the owners to put their goods closer to the public. It engages with the public better than what a small, enclosed space does. This should be an aspect of Peckham that is embraced rather than changed.
Art within Peckham should be embraced. There isn’t a single area in Peckham where you can look and not see artistic expression. Certain areas could be used for design, encouraging the people of the city to express themselves. This can be done by implementing buildings or walls dedicated to expression. If it is displayed in one place it can become and installation artwork area where the work can be appreciated by locals. Perhaps companies can be encouraged to commission local artists to paint relevant images to the shutters on their shops when they are closed.
Peckham is a high traffic area and there are a lot of pedestrians in this area throughout the days. Making safer, perhaps wider pathways would be a safer option. If there are direct links between different places, it would make it safer for pedestrians to navigate different places. If there are less areas for cars, it would reduce potential collisions.
Visiting Peckham has been an important part of this project so far. We needed to visit the site to get an understanding of what is there and who is there. What is it that makes Peckham, Peckham?
It was very different being in Peckham than Portsmouth or Southampton. It seemed to constantly be busy; the street was filled with people, the roads filled with cars. There did not seem to be a quiet moment. My partner drove us to Peckham, so I got to see a comparison of central London and Zone 2 of London. The drivers in London seemed to be quite inpatient and unforgiving. They seemed to know exactly where they were going, and they weren’t going to let anyone get in the way of that. When in central London, you are surrounded by high rise buildings covered in glass and fancy cars. Peckham seemed to be a much more modest version of Central London.
One thing that stood out about Peckham was the artistic expression. In every direction there is graffiti on the walls, some of it was writing and some of it was simply patterns. There did not seem to be a street that was free of graffiti, almost as if the entirety of Peckham was a canvas. Personally, I don’t find anything wrong with graffiti. It shows that there needs to be somewhere in Peckham where people can express themselves and show their creativity. Peckham Levels would be a good example of this, but what if the people of Peckham could take it into their own hands and create the designs they want, wherever they want?
Within Peckham there is one area on the route that is not shown on google maps. Some of the previous structure had been demolished and, in its place, stands Peckham Palms. This building is in an interesting area as you can see old, new, broken and being rebuilt. It doesn’t fit quite fit into its surrounding making it a unique sight. It’s a very modern building in when compared to the buildings that are around it; it seems to not have embraced what is already there.
The Peckham Peace wall is a concept that I have not seen before. All over this wall by Peckham library were little notes based around peace. It was a deep insight to what the local people think of their home and the world surrounding them.
There were a variety of materials within Peckham that I saw ranging from brick, metal, and concrete. The material palette would make for interesting designs, the materials quite obviously aging over time. Perhaps this could be taken advantage of? The buildings could tell a story based on the materials they are made of.
Peckham levels is a place that supports the ambitious. It is a community of artists, makers and entrepreneurs. This project was announced in 2015 and opened in 2017. Peckham levels is a brilliant example of how space can be reused rather than simply destroying it and building something in its place. The multi-story platform went from 7 levels that was unused to 50 studios, workshops, specialist studios, food and drink related venues, exhibition and market spaces and more. There are many areas that are available to the public; for example, “free event space, children’s play area, music venue, gallery, bars, restaurants, café, yoga studios and even a hair salon”. This renovation supports “employment and the arts” and acts as a “social space”. Previously, it was prone to anti-social activity.
Unfortunately, when I visited Peckham, all the doors were closed and locked. I am unsure whether the timings have changed due to the pandemic or if I simply did not look hard enough. However; even the exterior of the building shows artistic expression.
Before visiting the site, I decided to take a look at the resources provided for us. Just by looking at the map, I can see that it is a built-up area with predominantly man-made structures. There does not seem to be much greenery around our site. The only road that appears to have a strip of greenery is Holly Grove. This area is simply a path through grass with some shrubs and trees on one side.
There appears to be some greenery surrounding the site in small areas. For example, Warwick gardens sits West of Holly Grove, the Surrey Canal walk is North of the site, next to the leisure centre. Warwick Gardens is a small field of grass with a play area and football posts. This area must be used frequently as it is near local schools. There are quite a few schools nearby which shows that play areas and natural areas are essential.
Surrey Canal Walk appears to be similar to that of Warwick Gardens but longer in length and leading up to Burgess park. Burgess Park is much further from our site, being a 20-minute walk from Peckham Library. Peckham Rye Park and Common is closer still, being a 13-minute walk from Peckham Rye train station.
Based on these observations, it may be beneficial for Peckham to have more greenery areas. These areas could include play area, sport courts and pitches that would be available for the public.
Along the high street there are many businesses ranging in size. It would be essential to allow for commercial businesses to remain. However; smaller or independent companies should be taken into account and they should be able to continue their business in an affordable area. Ideally, with a living space above for the owners.
2020 was an incredibly scary year. It impacted every single one of us and caused us to change how we acted. It allowed us to reflect on our past actions. The pandemic was one of the scariest and most unknowing times of my life. On one hand, it was absolutely devastating to the whole world. On the contrary, there were many new opportunities for us to explore. Technology allowed us to stay connected with our loved ones and colleagues. It presented a new way of life through the cameras in our phones, laptops, tablets and computers. It was certainly a struggle adjusting to this lifestyle for the time being. However; it allowed us to reflect on our lifestyle and the current issues at the time.
From being in lockdown on and off, we wanted to stay connected to nature. We wanted a relationship with natural life to keep us physically and mentally well. With the economy in downhill, companies no longer being able to afford to keep their staff, arising issues of world hunger with the increasing population, we decided to take matters into our own hands. The public began to grow their own fruit and vegetables. It became popular amongst city-folk to grow our own greens; and we continue to do this even today. We were bringing greenery back into our cities, helping feed the growing population with our own home-grown food.
As we continued to reconnect with nature, our air became cleaner, our cities became greener. We began to rely less and less on nationwide imports. With Brexit in full swing and our trades being affected, it was a necessity for us to take growing food into our own hands (quite literally!). We no longer need to worry about people going hungry as we can get food from our own back gardens, rooftops or even basements! Our cities have become self-sufficient, allowing forests to regrow as our need for farm land has become less of a necessity. No land goes to waste. Our cities are now filled to the brim with, greenery, communal gardens, allotments packed with fruit and veg and roof-top gardens.
We are being healthier and feeling healthier. Being able to know exactly where my food comes from, knowing it grows in my very own garden, is an accomplishment to me. There is no greater feeling than nurturing and caring for a plant and being able to reap the rewards. The food is better and even tastes better.
It is not only our cities that have been affected. Our seas have become healthy once again, they are no longer being polluted with chemicals from agricultural run-off. Wildlife is thriving where there is no human interference. We have adopted the natural eco-system ideals of being self-sufficient and we can really see the results. Even today we are still trying to reverse the effects of climate change. It was the consequences of our actions that led to it. But we are improving, we are learning, we are educating our children and grandchildren. We are creating a better future for those who we will leave behind.