Potential functions

Here I have quickly sketches different functions that my hybrid building design can have. These functions aim to help the building be self-sufficient and sustainable.

Pink – Recycling/art studios and workshops

These workshops will encourage creative minds to engage in artwork with recycled materials. There could be workshops that help people fix what is broken or renovate furniture. Capitalising on this idea of reduce, reuse, recycle. Fixing and repairing rather than throwing away.

Blue – Restaurants

Restaurants within the building could utilise the gardening spaces or the vertical farms to have fresh food for their dishes.

Green – Vertical farming

Vertical farming within the building can help produce food markets within the building or in surrounding areas.

Orange – Education

Education within this building could be for art education on reuse of materials or how to grow crops.

Yellow – Shops/businesses

These shops and businesses could be put into place if they are selling creations made from recycled materials to encourage others to renovate rather than throw away. They could sell produce that they grow including fruit/vegetables/flowers.

Purple – Animal keeping

Gardening areas could be used to host animals that can provide food to residents. Bee keeping will be helpful in producing honey. Chickens can give us eggs. Quail can help remove insects and bugs from crops if they are in gardening areas, they can also provide natural fertiliser (same with chickens). More intensive animal keeping can include keeping cows, goats and pigs. Cows and goats could provide milk and natural fertiliser. Pigs can help by eating food waste and producing natural fertilisers. These animals may be slightly ambitious.

Red – Communal gardens

Communal gardens can give residents the opportunity to grow their own crops and give them access to fresh food or to provide to local food banks.

Transferable aspects

Where will I be aiming to go from the previous project? What aspects will be transferred across, what will not? Within my previous project, my main themes were urban agriculture and self-sufficiency. These themes are integral to the next stage of this project.

The aim of this new project is to design a hybrid building. My personal aim would be to design a multi-functional building that incorporates ideas of urban farming, greenery, energy producing, minimal waste schemes in an attempt to be self-sufficient.

As mentioned within my previous blog, a main aspect of this project is focusing on urban growth and the increase in population that is inevitable within cities. Urban agriculture would be essential to help provide food to local residents and markets. Increasing food production within cities will help resolve issues such as: traffic pollution from transporting crops, air pollution from introducing additional greenery and feeding the population. Through this, encouraging minimal waste, implementing energy producing strategies, the buildings we design can become self-sufficient. With additional greenery and also an opportunity to return to our roots, it can help increase quality of life, encourage exercise, improve mental health and provides opportunity for education on agriculture.

Beginning sketches

Looking at using large spaces, this car park seems to be a good potential site based on my found statistics. Many people in Peckham do not own a car, this space can be utilised to benefit Peckham in a different way.

Taking the use of bridges from the precedent by Kengo Kuma, the bridges in my concept would link different buildings. It would allow direct links to different areas.

To incorporate the use of farming, there could be a floor dedicated to indoor vertical farming and a floor dedicated to outdoor farming. The indoor farms would allow for fruits and vegetables that need a hot climate to be grown all year round.

A unique concept is the first one below. The building could be make up of a unique shape rotated on a single point. These could create steps on the outside of the building leading to the top. There could be bridges to each building with platforms coming off them that can be used for outdoor farming, garden or greenery space.

Eco-Luxury Hotel

A project by Kengo Kuma that has been designed for Paris.

  • Unconventional
  • Wooden architecture
  • Traditional Paris inspired balconies
  • Lush vegetation
  • Ambitious
  • Multifunctional
  • Sustainable
  • Landmark
  • Innovative
  • Greenery
  • Embraces nature within urban landscape

Vertical Forest

Name: Vertical Forest

Architects: Stefano Boeri

Location: Milan, Italy


  • Residential building
  • Construction was completed in 2014
  • 110 and 76 metres tall
  • Has 400 condominium units
  • Nature within cities
  • Embraces Nature
  • Equivalent to 30,000 square metres of woodland and undergrowth
  • 2500 thousand plants growing on the towers´ balconies
  • 5,000 shrubs
  • 800 trees
  • Wastewater from the building is used to water the plants
  • Wastewater is filtered using the energy provided from solar panels
  • Self-sufficient
  • Architectural biodiversity
  • 90 species of plants
  • Welcoming wildlife
  • New plants have attracted birds and insects
  • Allows a relationship between humans and other living species
  • The plants filter fine-particle pollution (the city’s traffic)
  • The plants produce oxygen and absorbs CO2

Information from: https://www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net/en/project/vertical-forest/

Peckham Proposal

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.

Peckham Solutions

In my previous Design: Major Project blogs (Visiting Peckham and Initial look at the site), I discussed my initial view of the site, my visit to Peckham, what it was like and briefly mentioned what could be changed.

Would it be possible for the people of Peckham to express their creativity more frequently? Could there be certain areas dedicated to graffiti and painting? This could be a space where the community can come together for group projects. It could become a social activity for all ages, meeting to express themselves.

There could be more greenery in Peckham. Nature could be more dominant than man-made roads. It would encourage people to walk and could potentially reduce congestion and pollution. It could make Peckham cleaner with fresher air and greener helping locals mentally. Additionally, due to there being many schools nearby, it would be essential to include these natural areas to give children safer places to play. With larger greenery areas, there could be more play areas, sport courts and pitches that could be made available to clubs and the public.

Peckham is very commercial based, so it is a necessity for small and large businesses to remain. In highstreets, there would need to be spaces above the shops so that the owners of these shops can live close by. For example, if changed to high-rises, shops should be based on the ground floor with the owners being able to live on the first floor directly above their business.

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet

David Attenborough’s recent documentary on Netflix shows us how humans have been affecting the planet. The documentary showcases our beautiful planet and how we are destroying it through our greed for resources and thirst for expansion. Within this witness statement, he goes into depth about what the world can become if we don’t change our ways. 

With our growing population, which since 1937 has grown a staggering 5.5 billion people, it will be necessary to change our diet if we want to resolve the current issues. Farmland takes up half of the world’s fertile land. Humans demand space and demand growth and we simply take resources without caring for the consequences. Deforestation for resources and land has caused an increased amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Additionally, the amount of wildlife has decreased from 66% in 1937 to a mere 35% in 2020. 

The increasing heat of our planet was not noticeable when it was only affecting the coral in the sea. When the sea could no longer absorb the heat, the ice in the Antarctic began to melt. The polar caps had an important part to play with keeping our planet cool; they would reflect sunlight away from the Earth. As they have begun melting, they are reflecting less and less sunlight, thus the temperature of our planet increasing by four degrees. 

We should no longer cut down forests as we can utilise the land we have already cultivated. We can grow crops in cities and indoors with new technology. We need to allow nature and wildlife to breathe and recuperate. The only way to fix the damage we have caused is to nurture nature and live in harmony. Otherwise, we are consequently destroying ourselves. 

An Apocalyptic Vision for 2050: Nature Taking Back

This is a less serious version of my induction task.

We had all thought that coronavirus would blow over. Little did we know 2020 was about to make another turn. It started in the hospitals, where the infected were. The virus had mutated. The host would first lose their ability to speak, their jaws becoming taut and then slack, as if trying to speak out. They would begin to twitch, involuntary actions in their body causing them to groan out. Their mind would then go blank, no longer recognising friends or family. Instead, an overwhelming urge to feast would consume them. The safest thing to do then, is run. 

Cities became dangerous. The dense human population in these areas rapidly changed into a large infected population. If we wanted to survive, we had to abandon these cities. By now, the infected have moved on from our once thriving cities, looking for feasts elsewhere. Now our cities are thriving in a different way. Nature has now reclaimed its territory. There are remnants of human life and our artificial lifestyle, but the environment has come back in full force. I often wonder what life would have been like if we had not taken our Earth for granted. Perhaps humans and nature would have been able to coexist. Perhaps we would have been able to live in harmony, nurture each other and create an ecosystem in which we can coexist. We lost that chance once. We’re not going to let that happen again.