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Georgia Steer

Work creatively, Live comfortably

he SAFE community in Bootle is very creatively focused, and my proposal aims to work alongside this artistic identity by placing creative businesses along the canal front and introducing a public “creativity square”. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to us the importance of having a convenient space to work from home, as well as somewhere homely and comfortable. The ground floor acts as an adaptable workspace and shop front, with lots of glazing so that people working can feel connected to the outside, and customers from either the side of the square or the canal can see in and are drawn into the shops. The top floor is the inhabited part of the building. It has several in-built features, such as the window-seat dining area and living room sofa pit, for a sense of homeliness and comfort. A balcony overlooks the canal, and also acts as a passive shading device over the south-facing windows below. The basement has skylights along one wall so as to allow some natural light in, keeping occupants connected to the outside even in the basement. The buildings use a composite of materials, using a heavy concrete basement which is exposed above the ground level, and a steel structure sits on top. A brick wall separates two back-to-back units and routes between the buildings allow easy access between the square and the canal. Hard landscaping of the scheme allows the square to be adaptable but suggests certain routes and uses for pedestrians and cyclists.