“ ...the passion for improvisation, which demands that space and opportunity be at any price preserved. Buildings are used as a popular stage. They are all divided into innumerable, simultaneously animated theatres. Balcony, courtyard, window, gateway, staircase, roof are at the same time stages and boxes.”
Walter Benjamin, ‘One Way Street’, 1924
Our proposal is a celebration of the public social life of the street. Every aspect of the design is configured to promote buzzing, thriving, public space made with a hard edge of buildings. Streets overlooked by balconies, bay windows and roof terraces. Streets where people might enjoy to sit out, kids to play, people going to and from their homes or just passing through.
Upton village is a leafy low rise urban quarter laid out around a network of intimately scaled streets and picturesque tree lined squares. Streets from adjacent neighbourhoods are drawn into the site as pretty little mews which widen, narrow and shimmy a little before the open out to reveal a square at the heart of the scheme where there is a handy corner shop and space for people to sit out.
Houses which line the streets are between one and three stories high. Stepping rooflines, projecting upper floors, playful fenestration and the occassional cheeky corner feature are composed to create a delightful sequence of public spaces and incidental views along streets.
Fragments of E.T. Halls existing hospital buildings remain... stair turrets, corridors, the eastern building entrance and the nurses home building with its extraordinary scooped parapets, delightful collonaded pavillions, patios, towers, each embedded within the new built fabric... framed by the new streets, enclosing gardens and forming gateways, creating a collage of old and new buildings... a kind of incremental urbanism.
We imagine looking out across the rooftops at a patchwork of sun terraces and cabbage patches, whirligigs, parterres, pergolas, fluttering clothes lines, muttered chat and barbeques, little towers and turrets rising from an array of fences, walls, hedges, trees. Peoples lives played out across an elaborate raised landscape.