AN EXPLORATION OF THE STAGNANT URBAN CONDITION IN RELATION TO FUTURE NOMADIC DRIFTING TRENDS
2014 | MANCHESTER | UK
Following the end of transnational controls on free movement and access restrictions to the UK labour market, a high influx of Romani groups are expected to arrive and settle within British and implicitly, Mancunian territory. As the problem of spatial scarcity arises and the needs of the Roma community intensify, the city needs to develop an architectural language that will provide a sensible platform for their social and urban distribution.
The study aims to initially investigate the city of Manchester under a temporal lens, and subsequently reveal the spaces ‘in-between‘ worlds, in-between stages of development that resulted following the economic downturn. They are spaces that speak of paralyzed aspirations and unfulfilled dreams of urban evolution, gradually transforming the volume their coordinates define into a visual, social and economical void.
They are the crippled newborns of the city that the urban womb heralded to the world prematurely. They are unfinished, incomplete, abandoned, hiding behind faded slogans of glamour and projected fantasies. They are landmarks of human failure, trapped in a dimension of their own.
They are relics of the future. Future. They are spaces of immense potential that ca be adopted by the city and turned into monuments of hope, of survival. They can become the surrogates of new programmes and aesthetics, they can be infused with a new purpose and become a part of the whole they were promised.
Drawing on dichotomies of spatial purity and impurity, on notions of boundary, transience and spatial justice, the scheme proposes a temporary structure that plugs into the existing site infrastructure – a contemporary Roma camp, aimed to provide the incoming community with a pre-defined set of architectural and spatial principles.
Keywords: Roma, UK migration, stalled sites, spatial justice, scaffolding, purity/impurity, temporary.