Hortus Conclusus Liverpudlium

Hand-drawn perspective drawing showing the bee tower, the layered wall, the water collection grid, and a glimpse of the water garden.

  • Site and Client

The site of the derelict warehouse sits between terraces in a residential area of Liverpool. The client, who owns the majority of the houses around the site, aims to create a sustainable community garden.

  • Beekeeping

Following initial research and consulting residents, I have chosen to introduce urban bee keeping to the scheme as a shared community activity. The beehives are an allegory for their harmonious and dynamic community.

  • A Collaborative Self-Built Project for the New Community

A strong driver of the project was to facilitate the development of the area as a harmonious community, with the garden as a first collaborative project. Through experimental development, I eventually proposed a lightweight structure of interlocking timber modules that the residents can assemble easily on their own with minimal training and waste. The masonry aspect of the project also engages rudimentary vernacular construction techniques, easily achievable with adequate supervision.

  • Aesthetics and Materiality

The timber lattice represents an abstraction of the beehive, illustrating strong repetitive geometry and using the square to suggest the hives. The scheme is enriched by the use of complementary materials that vary in texture, softness, and reflectivity. The varying in-between multifunctional spaces give interest to a potential promenade with simple, strong structures suggesting functionality (“nudge”) without enforcing it.

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