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(Re)making a Community: Bordesley Green
Samuel Hearne is a third year Architecture student whose project aims to raise awareness and help those locally who are victims of domestic abuse.
Architecture - BA (Hons)
Give us a brief overview of your project
My architectural thesis project aims provide a solution to the prevalent issue of domestic abuse in Bordesley Green, Birmingham, where 1,908 cases of violence and sexual offences were reported between January 2022 and January 2023. The project focuses on creating a recovery centre that empowers women to rebuild their lives and shape their futures after experiencing domestic violence.
Additionally, this project contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Target 11.7, which aims to provide safe, inclusive, and accessible green and public spaces by 2030, with a particular focus on women, children, older persons, and persons with disabilities. To achieve this goal, the project explores the public commons and green spaces infrastructure in Bordesley Green and selects a site that interacts with a recreational ground. The chosen location is a burnt-down 20th-century social club that will be retrofitted to accommodate the recovery centre.
Why did you choose this concept?
I choose this project for several reasons. Firstly, domestic violence is a prevalent issue worldwide, and it has a destructive impact on the lives of those who experience it. By designing a recovery centre for women who have been affected by domestic abuse, I am addressing a crucial societal problem and contributing to the well-being of these individuals.
Secondly, the project aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Target 11.7, which aims to provide safe, inclusive, and accessible green and public spaces by 2030, with a particular focus on women, children, older persons, and persons with disabilities. By contributing to this target, my project would have a broader impact beyond just the recovery centre, and it would support a more sustainable and equitable society.
Thirdly, the project presents an opportunity to explore various architectural and design concepts, including retrofitting existing buildings, creating safe and inclusive spaces, and addressing the needs of individuals who have experienced trauma. This project offers me the chance to apply my creativity and problem-solving skills to a meaningful and impactful endeavour. Overall, the project presents a compelling opportunity to address a crucial social issue, contribute to a global sustainability target, and explore various architectural and design concepts.
What processes have you been using?
To undertake a project aimed at designing a recovery centre for survivors of domestic abuse, there are several processes that I follow and need to be accomplished.Firstly, thorough research must be conducted to gain a better understanding of the issue of domestic abuse and recovery centres in the area, as well as the best practices for designing such centre’s and green public spaces. Once the research is completed, a suitable site for the recovery centre must be selected and evaluated based on various criteria such as accessibility, proximity to public transportation, and green space.After selecting the site, the next step would be to develop a concept for the recovery centre that takes into account the needs of survivors and aligns with UN Sustainable Development Target 11.7. Finally, detailed design plans must be created, including architectural drawings, site plans, and 3D models, to ensure that the recovery centre is designed and built to the highest standards and meets the needs of its end users in every way possible.
What do you hope to achieve with your project?
As the aim of my project is to design a recovery centre for survivors of domestic abuse, the ultimate goal should be to create a safe and supportive environment that promotes healing and helps survivors to rebuild their lives. The recovery centre should be designed in a way that meets the needs of survivors, providing them with access to essential resources and support services, such as counselling, therapy, legal assistance, and job training.
Additionally, the recovery centre should align with UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, which focuses on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Ultimately, the goal is to create a recovery centre that not only meets the immediate needs of survivors but also helps them to achieve long-term independence, stability, and success.
How has your course helped you to prepare for working on your project?
My degree in architecture has prepared me for working on this project in several ways. Firstly, as an architecture student, I now have a strong background in design principles and aesthetics, which is crucial when creating the spaces for the recovery centre. I consider the needs of the survivors, as well as the practical considerations of building a facility that is both functional and visually appealing.Secondly, my degree in architecture gives me the technical skills necessary to create detailed architectural drawings, site plans, and 3D models. These skills are essential when creating the design plans for the recovery centre, which serve as the blueprint for construction.Finally, my degree in architecture gives me a solid foundation in sustainable design, which will be important when designing a recovery centre that aligns with UN Sustainable Development Target 11.7. I consider factors such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and the use of sustainable building materials in order to create a facility that is environmentally friendly and meets the highest standards of sustainability.Overall, my degree in architecture provides me with the skills and knowledge necessary to design a recovery centre that is functional, visually appealing, sustainable, and meets the unique needs of survivors of domestic abuse.
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