Given the brief to design a dwelling within a narrow 5x20m terraced plot in London, I created Alloy House. Influenced by politics, news stories and literature, I chose to design a habitat for people who had recently moved to the UK.
Alloy House aims to create a domestic
environment that will aid the assimilation process of individuals or families who have recently moved to the UK. The idea behind this is rooted in the notion that diversity, in all of its forms, is a strength rather than the weakness it is portrayed to be by politicians both in the UK and overseas.
The use of moving partitions means that the dwelling can be easily arranged in different configurations according to the inhabitants
preferences. The ground floor can be treated as four distinct zones, creating secluded safe spaces; or one continuous open-plan multi-purpose area. Movement is symbolic in the design of the dwelling, influencing the overall profile, material choices and stairway. In part, the consideration of movement in the design of the stairway was instigated by Renzo Piano and Richard Roger's design of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris:
‘Their concept, depicted in one of their competition drawings as a collage, was portraying the museum itself as movement.”
This inspired me to use collage within the development of the stairway.
In terms of materiality, dark herringbone wooden flooring emphasises movement and is a visual cue of flow and direction. To contrast this, the polished concrete walls and bespoke features imply a steadiness and ground the design alongside touches of bleached timber. Accents of bronze are the most prominent material feature. It has been used to highlight the bespoke stairway and continues into subtle details. An alloy made from copper, tin and a variety of other metals, it is used very little in comparison to copper, even though it is harder, stronger and corrosion resistant. In my design I have showcased bronze, demonstrating its versatility and attractive finish.