A support centre for the homeless and socially excluded, to be built in Manchester-UK.
12 individual rooms
Solar energy production
The main aim of this project is to plan and design a self-sufficient building which could inspire independence and encourage alternatives, providing some options for those who have none.
After testing a few models, searching for a conceptual basis, finally found a simple shape as a reference to the irregular or non-linear situation experienced by its users?as allowing the creation of ambiguous spaces above and bellow(in/out? private/common?) open for free further exploration from anyone outside as from inside.
The choice of materials, determined by the site analysis, using brick, the predominant material in our
surroundings, to achieve a sense of integration, and balance it with glass to make it distinct and modern and as a way to minimise electricity consumption.
Based on a light steel primary structure with reinforced light concrete slabs, all the space is organised around the central area, open from ground to top floor, where all the energies circulates (light,air,people) so, used as the General-office/reception, as also provides visual control all around the building.
The top floor becomes the basis of our economic system where an urban farm produces most of vegetables needed?adding to water collection and production of energy generated by 12 m2 of photovoltaic panels.
Integrating a bakery to complement our free natural resources (light, electricity ,water and vegetables)
we?ll be able to cover all our internal needs in terms of food, as to sell part of production through the bar, also open to public.
Following the same principles of free-renewable technologies, the centre creates an independent circuit based on recycling and reinventing a free sources of materials and reintroduce them in the main circuit with a new value.
The workshop, planed as a space to learn new skills or start new activities, adaptable to users interests, offers conditions to recycle and reinvent almost any kind of materials, the final products being commercialised at the art-shop.
Based and informed by a self -sufficient building, the support centre also functions as an economic sustainable scheme offering conditions for the people to suffice their basic needs, from growing vegetable, cooking their own food, learning new skills and explore alternative activities, all together
contributing to generate a sense of commitment and responsibility that fuels all the efforts needed to keep it running.
A model that could be easily applied/adapted to different conditions/places all around the globe, at the end representing for the users a real chance or alternative for social reintegration, with all the social-economic impact associated.