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Daniel Barrett — Urban Ecology

Urban Ecology – A new hope is on the horizon. The river lea connects green belt land with central London housing developments and supplies them with local material. Housing becomes tied with the health of the river water, and a reciprocal relationship is set up between water health and people health.

Urban Ecology — A new typology of residential architecture that facilitates ecological living. By Daniel Barrett.



Lower Lea Valley, London Borough of Newham



To create a design methodology that combats the cultural and philosophical catalysts of climate change. These are a Cartesian dualism, the enlightenment principle that segregates nature and culture, and neoliberalism, the pervasive political movement that stripped the individual from the group.



The project seeks to minimise the carbon output of civilization, through the expansion of architecture’s role in sustainable discourse.



The architecture choreographs rituals with the cycles of nature, in order to intertwine the human and non-human. A residential proposal seeks to create a web of interaction where individuals can come to understand the wider network of groups that each of us depend on.



With attention focused on the pathogenic worldviews that lead to climate collapse (that account for 100 per cent of CO2 release), rather than the symptoms of this worldview that are seen in the construction industry (account for 40% of CO2 release), the greater problem can begin to be tackled.



Site Map – The masterplan combines Green Wedge urbanism, with a redevelopment of London’s ageing industrial estates. Sustainable forestry schemes and clay deposits on the periphery of the city, become local material sources for a new typology of housing stock.
Rituals and Cycles – The design choreographs the rituals of the residents with natural cycles on the site. A water filtration system works in tandem with a community bathhouse.
Blue Ecology – The design begins with a poetic reconfiguration of the emblems of pollution, individualism, and the industrial, and into a regenerative, interdependent, and ecological typology.
Long Section – Processional paths are cut through the site defining the ritualistic route into the bathhouse.
Water Filter – The filter a lock that both provides a point for unloading material from boats that have travelled downstream, and a filter that removes large material waste from the river.
Bathhouse – Choreographing a bathing ritual throughout the site creates a conscious connection between the river and daily routine.
Aqueduct – Both facilitates the movement of water between community centre towers, and breaks up the visual monotony of the rectilinear wooden dwellings, with a triumphant, heavy, brick colonnade.
Sensual Cleanse – The filtration column occupies a large atrium at the centre of the bathhouse entrance. This visceral opening act to the theatrical ritual, is intended to instil a sense of peace and a separation from externalities.
Baths – The hot baths are softly lit, with full height louvres providing privacy and a dim, dappled light to instil a sense of calm.
Courtyard – Large courtyards create enclosed planted spaces for the community to enjoy. These help define small clusters of community members within the larger terrace structure, and permit ample daylight to every dwelling.

Further work 

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