Stanmer Settlement

June, 2015

Developing my prior work involving way finding (see Venice Junctions), I began to look at how people occupy space. I ended up following an urbanistic theme which looks at the subtle details which define spaces. I noticed that Stanmer village in the centre of Stanmer park offers an outdated view of the way in which we should settle. Subsequently, I looked to introduce a new settlement in opposition to the existing, instilling new modern ideals and introducing the latest infrastructure.

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fig. 1 Observations of Prague Square Crowd

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fig. 2 Observations of Prague Square Step

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Whilst in Prague I had made recordings from the viewing platform of the Astronomical Clock. These films showed the public gathering on the square below, waiting for the clock to chime, dispersing after the event and otherwise occupying space. I analyzed this footage and produced drawings in response (see fig. 1 & 2). The most influential aspect of these observations were noticing that the curb (see fig. 2) significantly defined the space it occupied. People used this slight step to sit, subsequently creating two separated routes. The noticing of this detail lead me on a search for similar features, a pursuit which I started to catalogue (see fig. 3)

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fig. 3 Situational details identified from Prague Square

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fig. 4 Stepped details visible on the gatehouses of Stanmer Park

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fig. 5 Surveying along a path through Stanmer Park

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Having developed a series of these details which help to define space I moved my project to the specified site. I studied the gatehouses which you first meet upon entering Stanmer Park and then took a journey through the park collecting information and documenting more of these details (see fig. 4 & 5). These investigations into the site helped me to develop the program for my intervention. The journey I had taken had brought me from the gatehouse through Stanmer Village to the North-Western most point of the park. I wanted to create a new settlement at this point, with a new set of gatehouses it would be orientated in opposition to that of the existing settlement. Using high speed internet in this rural environment to attract settlers I designed a master plan for the site. This plan included a large presentation auditorium, arcade of shops, pub, restaurant, hostel, small lecture theatre (see fig. 6) and private study space (see fig. 7, 8 & 9).

 

fig. 6 A small lecture theatre is open, attracting those passing by and allowing existing features to protrude through the floor plate. 

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fig. 7 The private study spaces were nestled under trees, in a wooded area of the site, for added protection.

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fig. 8 A series of levels offer a variety of study spaces for settlers.

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fig. 9 The settlement is constructed with largely modular, lightweight, elements. However some more permanent material gestures are made; a hint at what may remain if the settlement were to be abandoned.