Studio Notes: Elevating Peckham
On the 2nd of November, it was our last studio session before our Interim Review on the 16th of November where we will have to present a critical site analysis and a Design Scenario of 500 words accompanied by an artefact that can either be a collage, a model or an atmospheric drawing. This will set the guideline for the rest of the project. It's about sculpting the project.
I've made a mind map of my action plan.
When I visited Peckham via Google Earth, Covid obliged, I noticed how chaotic the traffic was, there was no crossroads for pedestrians, no boundaries for children's safety what so ever or road indications to separate cars from bicycles. In my opinion a street requires clear indications for all users. Rye lane is dense and the road doesn't seem wide enough for all ways of travel. Adding extra roads for pedestrians and bicycles would favorise decongestion.
A street, especially the Main Street, is the principle attraction of urban life. It doesn't only have the purpose of travel. They are a dynamic space which require to adapt over time to keep up with traffic input, sustainability, economic growth, health and the cultural significance of the place. It's important to understand the role of each part of a street.
A separation is important but interaction shouldn't be put to the side completely.
How could I undensify? Adding natural features and getting nature back into Peckham would be a good start. Why back into? Because Peckham wasn't always a busy city, it used to be London's Orchard and get way rural area. It would allow once again to get away from the busy life promoting human wellbeing. One in a park there's a satisfying moment where you can see the open sky and not only parts of it through square narrow streets. It also gives you back energy and cleaner air. It gives a sense of freedom while increasing the biodiversity around Peckham. Besides, green spaces can increase economics of the area as it attracts people. A green space can come in many forms, it's not only a park. It can be a green wall, an agriculture wall or parcel, it can surround a path, like be an indication or a guide line.
The importance of a green space, as I said resides in the human wellbeing and acts as a metabolism, in counter acting pollution. In my project, I will investigate what kind of green spaces I will incorporate remembering that I have to link it to my architecture project and not only do landscaping!
Thinking about natural features it made me think of biomimicry. Biomimicry is the understanding of how nature develops and functions in order to copy it to create structures and buildings. For example the firm Vincent Callebaut Architects took the example of a highly ribbed Amazonia Victoria water lylipad, to create, if would imagine, the Lylipad project, for future climatic refugees.
The above led me to parametric architecture. This computer generated system allows architects and designers to be free in the design creating organic shapes. The idea would be imagining bridges that would link my structures to each other and to points of interest such as green areas or social nodes.
A bridge as a stage, not just a way of connection from point A to B. Designing bridges across Peckham would not only allow my to connect my future buildings of residencies and commerces but also to connect green spaces in town and provide a safe and peaceful travel route for bicycles, pedestrians and children. The bridges could be points of interest with cafes, bars, agriculture parcels, playgrounds, dance floors, white walls to allow people to show/make their street art and so on. It would become a nice get a way above the city, above the urban commotion. The aesthetic of these links would be important for human wellbeing, it could trigger peoples curiosity and trigger conversation with others, which could counter act loneliness. The bridges could be a sculpture themselves while being sustainable and useful. Elevating New Peckham! Rising the city to avoid the possible floods. I could design my buildings above the car parks like podium buildings.
To fight against density, I was also thinking about making nodes. Nodes are actives points in the city, sort of like a roundabout. They either are the centre of transportation or economic interests that connect with the rest of the city around. To me, nodes are a dynamic point which let people come together. In my design, these nodes would allow a connection between Rye Lane and the bridges above the city. On the street they would act as a space to stop on the busy street and take a break. Think a space that would be spacious! That would push away the current urban fabric.They could become points of interests with community areas, authorizing a bit of freedom, colour and funk on Rye Lane.
These ideas to liven up Peckham could reduce crime rate. In addition, integrating lighting systems on Rye lane would make the road more pleasant and safe. The community spaces and urban agriculture would promote interaction and connection with one another also diminishing crime rates.
All of these modifications around Peckham could make people not recognise their city, therefore, keeping the architecture heritage alive is important so the citizens do not to forget how Peckham grew and where it came from. I will have to think of a way to frame the historical buildings. Maybe it could be another aspect that the bridge could cover?
Furthermore, in my project, I mustn't forget to think of day vs night conditions of the whole project.