An Architectural Polemic_The Micro-Community

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An Architectural Polemic_The Micro-Community

Jordan Whitewood-Neal


Responding to the abandoned nature of Ramsgates former Pleasurama site, Micro-community acts as an architectural polemic against conventional urban development. Through the exploration of mycelium, the roots of fungus, and it’s growth, characteristics, and materialistic possibilities in construction components, the building acts as a self sustainable organism floating above the ground.

Ramsgates increasing loss of community based infrastructural programs has led to a sense of lost identity and the degradation of active public space. My building intends to utilise mycelium as a catalysts for the preservation, production and ossification of community infrastructure on an internal, local, and urban level. These drawings, perspectives and axo illustrate the design and atmosphere of the building as well as its conceptual urban impact.


Who influences you graphically?

The graphical style of the project was informed mainly by the common materiality of mycelium components, whereby organic materials are used and ossified. But i am constantly influenced and inspired by a wide range of other student projects where the graphical nature of their projects is used to convey their concepts and bridge a connection between the work and the ideas explored.

What is your work process in terms of programs used?

For this project the majority of the programs within the building are informed by the processes involved with the production of mycelium components, including the growth of mushrooms, the harvesting of spores, the mixing of the spores with organic materials and specifically controlled environments which allow the mycelium to grow and bind the organic materials together. However, my aspiration to engage the public with this process also led me to consider social programs within the building to give it an occupational sustainability. Extending the existing promenade as a way of entering the building, as well as creating a border of open space around the production spaces creates spaces for the community to congregate. Finally, my hope for the project was to help redevelop local community infrastructure, something which the town had lost much of in recent years. One main example being a local bathing pool. Utilising the open space below the buildings floating rooms, I reintroduced the bathing pool, creating a strong cross programming to form the building into a social hub for the local community.

You neglect to explore your proposal through plan and section,why so?

Apart from my main short section which seeks to express the structural strategy of the design and the way it uses the ground and cliff plane to support its floating spaces, as well as dissecting through some of the most important spaces, throughout the project I found it most beneficial expressing the building and the concept at both the micro interior perspective level, and a more conceptual urban view, metaphorically showing a growing influence throughout the town. Many of the spatial decisions were to enforce a certain atmosphere and experience while occupying and moving through the building, so therefore I also felt that it would be imperative to show these moments.

To what extent would the images and project be received differently if only explore through the latter? 

I believe if the building was mainly visualised through plans and sections that the buildings function would come across with less depth, it would focus more on layout and interaction between the spaces and the industrial like process which happens, and then I think the soul of the building and its prospects at a purely social level could be undermined.

What is the power of the atmospheric perspective in catapulting the individual inside the proposal?

I think since my building is an attempt to regenerate and reconnect the town through the communities engagement, and taking control of their own potential development, it was essential to express the unique spatial environments. The project therefore uses these perspectives to not just make the proposal real, and something you could imagine inhabiting, but a series of spaces that you would want to inhabit.




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