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Interior Reuse

Caroline Bang

Originally from Silkeborg, Denmark. Before starting my Master’s Degree at RCA, I studied Interior Design at Florence Institute of Design International in Florence, Italy, followed by my Bachelor’s Degree in Spatial Design at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in Copenhagen, Denmark. During my BA I did an internship with Faye Toogood at her studio in East London. 


HUMAN-KIN is a proposal for a visionary home in London for kinship families. My goal for the project is to design a collective home that embodies different ways of living responding to a future in which the nuclear family is no longer the norm, and which therefore also spatially breaks away from the traditional configurations of domestic space. 

 

The three LGBTQIA+ housing associations TONIC Housing, Stonewall Housing and Opening Doors London have recently joined forces to research the well-beings of the +55-year-olds within the LGBTQIA+ community in London. This is recognised as a group which feels particularly isolated, overlooked and not belonging in regular society. In response to this research, I have designed housing for this particular group of people with the aim of bringing them closer together as a community and kinship family but also to make them visible and part of the city fabric.

 

Living through a pandemic dramatically emphasizes our human needs and desires for kinship and togetherness which are as crucially important to respond to as to rational requirements. HUMAN-KIN is therefore not a hyper-optimized co-living institution, but a collective home that embodies different ways of living responding to a future in which the nuclear family is no longer the norm.

 

The site for my project is a tunnel-opening behind a Georgian ghost façade in Leinster Gardens, Bayswater, London. So, HUMAN-KIN is also to be seen as a response to a dis-functional housing market in London which the pandemic has further exposed. We need to rethink, reuse and update already existing buildings and unused sites and make more useful domestic spaces for the 21st century and beyond.

 

Spatial Manifesto — The model has become the spatial manifesto of this project as it speaks about in-between space, views and the relation of the rooms to each other – public/private.
Spatial Manifesto

As a spatial translation of the initial collage statement, focus has been placed on the relationship between private and shared space, and with emphasis on the fluidity of the use of the in-between space as dynamic meeting points between the inhabitants.

Medium:

Cardboard

Size:

21 X 18 X 24 cm
Daytime scheme — Daytime depiction of the overall design. During the day, the courtyard and kitchen will be open to the public and it will be a hybrid of public/private. The private entrances at both Leinster Gardens and Porchester Terrace will, however, remain private throughout the day. The design is made up of pre-fabricated units which can easily be changed into other configurations and adapted to different needs of future inhabitants. Also, the units are adaptable and scalable for other sites.
Night-time scheme — At night the site is closed to the public and only accessible for the community. This to secure a feeling of a safe space.

Medium:

Collage
Inserted Buildings / Leinster Gardens & Porchester Terrace — Depiction of the buildings as inserted layers into the site, creating a collaged roofscape from surrounding domestic architecture. It also highlights how the mixed window typologies from front&back have been collaged into the design.
Merge of Front&Back Window Typologies — The dramatic difference between front and back also extends to the windows used on the public decorated facade and the more private back, this being a traditional built up of the Georgian home.
Window Typologies
Typology Catalogue — In my retake on domestic space I have reused and merged the front and back, the public and private window typologies and collaged them in new ways as a way of breaking with the traditional concept of private and public as well as incorporating the DNA of the surrounding site.
London Stock Brick — Another DNA of the site and a prominent feature of the informal back is the traditional London stock brick bonds. As a material dialogue with the Georgian stock brick I have made a retake on the bonds and colors of the brick and incorporated it into the design.
Retake on the London Stock Brick — This new interpretation of the London stock brick bonds is also a way of turning around a prominent classical feature of the front/back dichotomy by upgrading the bricks to a visual characteristic of my design.
Public Entrance from Porchester Terrace

The site is behind a Georgian ghost facade in Leinster Gardens which is situated in the Bayswater area in London, close to Hyde Park.The Georgian ghost facade was built in 1868 as part of a series of Georgian terraced houses, however, the purpose of the site was to leave it as a tunnel-opening for trains underneath to let out steam.

What I find particularly interesting about this site is the dramatic contrast between the polished and decorated white formal facade and the rough and unfinished informal back.

Shared kitchen — From a communal aspect this is an important space as this is a main meeting place for the tenants, but it is also an important meeting place for the tenants and the surrounding society, inviting for conversations and meetings.
In-between Travel Space
Laundrette — View from one of the two shared laundrettes looking towards the roof terrace. The laundrette is another important meeting place for the tenants allowing for sharing ordinary activities or enjoying a peaceful moment.
In-between Space / Mail Boxes

Medium:

Collage visuals
Family Chairs

As a way to enter the project on a closer scale I looked into furniture where I was particularly interested in the chair as an almost humanlike character. By sampling chosen chair cut-outs I have created families of chairs as mediators of thresholds between space and inhabitants.

Medium:

Collage
Light Studies
Light Study Collage
Spatial Flexibility — This collage is a generator of the idea of having a functional fluidity within the dwellings and to do away with fixed functions.
Two Person Private Dwelling
View into the courtyard and the community
Private Dwelling
Upper Level Sleeping and Study Area
Sleeping Area

This is an example of a two person dwelling situated on level 3 and 4. For the interior identity of the dwelling, I have focused on warm natural materials using timber as a prominent material. The color scheme references back to my retake on the London stock brick. Furthermore, I have focused on natural light and access to balconies enhancing a sense of well-being. My positioning of chairs and window seats allow for views into the courtyard and the community.

Medium:

Collage visuals & physical model
Overall design scheme — Depiction of the overall design scheme showing the horizontal connection between the site and the surrounding streets as well as the vertical built up of the design. A public entrance at both Leinster Gardens and Porchester Terrace opens up to the public in the morning and extends the street through the site during the day inviting the surrounding neighborhood into the courtyard thus making the community part of the city fabric.
Spatial configuration — Just as important as the interior spaces are the voids and openings between the buildings which allow for natural light and air flow enhancing space for well-being in a context where lives are being lived in such close proximities.
Spatial configuration — The shared kitchen and dining area in the courtyard have been prioritized as the heart of the site as all the apartments are kitchen-less. The purpose of this, among others, is to bring the community closer together by the daily routine of sharing meals and having conversations. Statistics show that on an average we use roughly four hours a day on domestic chores and I have chosen to outsource some of these activities such as cooking and cleaning to make more time for living, resting and togetherness.
HUMAN-KIN

The overall design is made up of pre-fabricated units which can easily be changed into other configurations and adapted to different needs of future inhabitants. Also, the units are adaptable and scalable for other sites.

The site being open to the train underneath and being a constant reminder of the connection to the city and symbolising the fast pace of the city but also rhythm of the train constitute an important element of my design. Vertically the design opens up to the train underneath and uses the form language and rhythm of the train arches. 

Augustinusfonden

Louis-Hansens Fond

Direktør Einar Hansen og hustru fru Vera Hansens Fond