Luke Fawcett

Layers of Living

Covid-19 has unfortunately exemplified housing inequality within the UK. Over a third of working-class students don’t have a dedicated space to study at home, and places like Bootle have just half as much open green space when compared to the rest of the UK. Factors like these don’t only just make lockdown life difficult, but they significantly impact working-class communities across the UK, and our social housing should offer equal opportunities to residents, giving them impactful tools and resources for mental and physical engagement to help mitigate social disparities across our cities.

Layers of Living challenges minimum space standards, uses sustainable construction methods and takes a humanist approach to design to offer families with bright, spacious and sensitive habitats; which focus on a balance between introverted and extroverted spaces. The design reflects on the successes of a traditional Victorian terrace – connecting to the existing context of Bootle – but developed to meet the needs of a modern family home.

At the heart of the proposal, a community garden connects the public and private spaces, deeply considered to provide a balance and harmony for the residents; large bi-fold doors open the homes to the community garden, whilst a permeable brick courtyard provides private outdoor seating.

Enlarged living spaces are flooded with natural daylight with a focus on the visual connection to the community garden, providing parents supervision over playful children.

CLT stairs form the heart of the home, with built-in storage, a window book seat and desk space trailed between the flights of stairs, naturally illuminated by a large chimney style window.