RIBA PART I
WASTE REFINING & MATERIAL EXCHANGE INITIATIVE
An Architecture of Added Value & Productivity
The University of Edinburgh, Final Undergraduate Project, 2013
First Class Honours
RIBA Part I
The design proposal references a time when Broughton, an ancient feudal barony today within the City of Edinburgh, was more engaged with the industries and mechanical infrastructures that supported it. The scheme proposed a new street within Broughton, located on its existing industrial railway line. The housing units mediate the urban with the industrial use of the site. Facing the tracks, the resident engages with the trash train through a ‘mechanical shield’ and filter it into their urban lives. With artists working closely with the scrap materials to produce art from trash, their studios open up after-hours for the public to access via the new street, transforming the evening landscape into one of culture and building upon Broughton’s image as an area of production.
Tutors: Tahl Kaminer and Andrew Stoane. A project produced alongside Catherine Yarwood.
Broughton, once a separate entity from the city, has a history of industry and production. Tram and rail lines once ran through the area, serving the light industry that developed in Broughton’s northern periphery. Over time, the expansion of Edinburgh’s city centre and the Port of Leith upon Broughton’s ambiguous boundaries caused its identity of production to fade. Belonging to different powers and controls yet resistant to be absorbed into any, the political, social and economic disjoint of the area is reflected in its varied urban fabric.
An Urban Pattern
The city's 2001 proposal to re-introduce the historic tram network to Edinburgh revealed a linear growth potential that touched upon Broughton. The proposed tramline has an influence on the urban fabric adjacent to its path. Developments to fall within staggered zonings are to contribute to the trams construction to varying degree as per the city's policy. The policies reveal the power of infrastructure connections on an urban scale and the linear growth patterns they initiate.
The scheme introduces a second linear growth to Broughton, in reactivating the single industrial rail line to one of industry, production and habitation in order to reactivate Broughton’s lost identity.
The timetabled mechanical operations of the Powderhall site continue down the tracks to six different ‘stations’ at which the waste train mechanically exchanges its scrap material to be further processed at each stop. The housing units are forged around each station and directly dispose of their waste via them rather than through the complex networks of waste distribution throughout the city.
Housing Units and Artist's Studios
The housing units mediate the urban with the industrial use of the site - through mechanical shutters facing the tracks the resident engages with the trash train through a ‘mechanical shield’ and filter it into their urban lives.
With the artists working closely with the scrap materials to produce art from trash, their studios open up after-hours for the public to access via the new street, transforming the evening landscape into one of culture and building upon Broughton’s image as an area of production.
Materials are exchanged between stations via the trash train. They are distributed on a city scale via a public level to each exchange station, according to the scheme’s timetable. The scrap is refined in stages in each of the stations’ workshops along the scheme producing cladding for the studios and further processed materials to exchange with the city. Studios creatively use the scrap supplies in various degrees of refinement in the creation of art.