Hulme has traditionally been one of the poorest suburban areas of Manchester. After the war, action to clear the slums led to scattered row developments and isolated buildings typical of post-war times; the area is now also characterised by major infrastructure routes.
As a means to re-urbanise Hulme, this project explores the hierarchical and sequential scaling of spaces, from the city’s public infrastructure and roads right down to the proportional intimacy and privacy of one’s own patio.
We have designed three housing blocks on the competition site, as demonstration projects. Cut-outs in the blocks provide areas for access, community amenities, green zones, private terraces and collective courts. The result is a ‘labyrinth-like landscape’ within each block, encompassing functions ranging from public to semi-public to private.
Positioning is key. For example, the collective courts are on different levels, so that with increased height they gain in intimacy.