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Unit 1 | Authenticity and Communality: Water, Land, and Sea - Flood Plain and Uplands        

Chris Jones

The Task

The unit proposed that communities can reimage the city/town and habitation, in a way that embraces the natural world and the community for the benefit of all, integrating living and production, focusing on the estuary zone, an area from Purfleet in Essex to the isle of Thanet incorporating the Thames estuary and 60 miles of coast and hinterland 


The central aims of the unit were:


Communality - reviving a feeling or spirt of cooperation, inclusivity and belonging arising from common interests and goals  


Authenticity - i.e., promoting that which is genuine, significant, purposive, and a responsible mode of human life and its relation to craftmanship 

Meeting the 1.5 degrees COP 26 Target- with sustainable architecture and settlements 

Reviving the Blue Zone - by examining issues of the Estuary Zone including flooding and pollution, food production from land and sea, unemployment and poverty, periods of drought, fuel scarcity, and flood levels that could rise by a much a 1 metre in the next 25 years, and promoting resilient ideas 


Architecture Futures - with creativity and experimentation inspired by materiality, nature and context, the arts and crafts movement and the organic tradition, and an understanding of typologies,  


The Estuary Zone  

The Unit 1 Study zone stretched from Thanet to the Thames, the possibilities of this zone are underutilised and issues of climate change, and specific issues for example the dumping of billions of litres of raw sewage into protected seas, lack of meaningful employment and housing provision are evident. However, there are many underused resources from the sea and land that present exciting sustainable futures for the region   



Term 1 for the first 5 weeks consisted of an assembly and research project in Oare; followed by an individual prototype design based on the idea of hybrid forms that combine work, living and communality for the remainder of the term; for Stage 5 this project defined the area of study for the Term 2/3 thesis project. The Unit proposed several sites and briefs and students were encouraged to develop their own briefs and sites from the research undertaken, the unit encouraged analogue studies including physical models, sketching, and prototyping models  

Term 2 and 3 The Stage 4 project is a single project developed in depth with context, spatial and materiality studies. The Stage 5 thesis project developed from the final task of term 1  



The Unit 1 students schemes proposed were responsive to the estuary zone, with experimental proposals that were responses appropriate to the context and point to future ways of living /working and sustainable communality, asking how can we reimaging towns and cities for the future that are low carbon, sustainable and promote living and working in a spirit of communality   


Students- Durray Binti Wan Rosli, Alexander Grice, Halemah Khaleel, Stephen Richards, Mitisha Gurung, Artun Demirsoy and Bertan Kotil  


Projects - this year’s projects included, celebration of boat building in Faversham Creek, A town of two half’s Folkstone Harbour arm regenerated, Noah’s Ark, London, a seed bank and growing research facility, an experiment school in Swalecliff, Gravesend Pier reimagined, Faversham Creek abandoned boats repurposed, and social housing in Herne Bay 


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