Alister Matheson

Encouraging families back to the city centre requires an architectural grammar that can be influenced by the morphology of the urban Mons block with the tension between the villa in the landscape and burgage plot. By abstracting the local conditions of types found surrounding the site, such as the periphery defensive structures, a new neighbourhood with a contextual and social anchor can form. The villas in the landscape typology from medieval Mons has a research basis in key archetypes, be it the Villa Rotonda or Villa Savoye. By utilising the Palazzo arrangement, an early form of collective housing which explores a duality between the private and collective, focusing on the live-work thresholds. The aim is to produce a new neighbourhood that facilities a spectrum of social demographics using related residential typologies. The layering of programme influenced from the palazzo, with workshops on the ground, residential above separated by a piano nobile circulation space. The stereotomic nature of the fortifications at the periphery will form the basis of a new infrastructural framework for which the villa can be plugged into.

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