Eilish Camplisson

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“All inhabited space bears the essence of the notion of home” - Gaston Bernard. The home is a treasury that helps to define people’s identities and captures their cultural heritage. For many people, their experiences of home are not as easily defined as their ideas of what constitutes a home, this is especially so for people that live in contested cities. The city of Gdansk has survived many conflicts. Its most contested areas are by-products of industrial decline, saturation tourism and environmental threats. This project seeks to evaluate how these conflicts impact and affect the use, form and fundamentally the identity of home. By analysing different contested cities with their own challenges, in relation to Gdansk, a greater understanding of the true meaning of the term home has been formed. This has highlighted key design principles that support ideas of identity and informs how architecture can represent these principles in culturally meaningful ways. These principles have become the core strategy for a future housing collective in Gdansk.  Through close reference to Gdank’s heterogeneous urban landscape and architectural styles, the new housing will reflect the city’s diverse identity. In doing so it will help inhabitants to connect to the genius loci of the place through their everyday rituals. This concept will transfer into the private dwelling thus creating a strong identity of home, that reaches beyond its walls.

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1. The Lenin Lane, future housing for Gdansk. Part of a masterplan to transform Gdansk's Lenin Shipyard, this project focuses on affordable housing. Individual apartments lead off of a communal central lane that aims to create a new neighbourhood identity within the once world-famous shipyard site.

2. An overview of The Lenin Lanes housing, final wall presentation.

3. The Lenin Lane, uses the cities varied architectural forms as precedents for the design of affordable housing with the city centre. In an attempt to address the country’s housing crisis and the needs of local people whilst creating a design that can be easily constructed and replicated across the city.

4. The housing runs parallel to the Lenin Canal and Parkland south of the site. Built on a plinth in response to threats from flooding, the ground floor is split into two levels with commercial units filling the perimeter of the site and maisonette apartments facing inward onto the central lane. The spacing and dimensions of each block reflect the proportions of Dutch terrace blocks constructed on similar plinths through Gdansk. The length of the housing block is a subtle nod to the Soviet-era housing estates that have become a key identifier of ‘home’ to many people of Gdansk.

5. The main design principals arouse from affordability, adaptability and accessibility. Ensuring each apartment met EU housing standards whilst creating a variety of apartment types to meet the different needs of occupants. Finally, all apartments have access to outdoor space where it is a balcony or part of the lane-scape. The above will allow residents the ability to create a strong individual identity within their own homes.

6. The section through the tower highlights the individualisation within the private apartments but this forms the totality of the collective neighbourhood through its shared spaces and amenities.

7. The plan and visuals show that within each block, every apartment differs depending on its occupant's needs, daily rituals and individual styles. The shared spaces such as the lane are where these people can converse and connect with one another.

8. This section highlights the importance of the relationship between the private spaces within the apartments and the public spaces out with. These are essential to creating community engagement and fostering place attachment that in turn allows each occupant to identify with this neighbourhood and apartment as home.

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