A place we grow is a community rehabilitation shelter located in the Meadows, Nottingham, and is designed to represent a narrative shift of the construction industry towards a new era of sustainable architecture. This is embodied through the use of a circular design ethos, consuming as little energy as possible by utilising passive systems and high-efficiency sustainable materials.
This scheme aims to combat the growing issue of homelessness in the Meadows area, providing short-stay accommodation and unrestricted access to facilities designed to provide as much support as possible through the difficult process of reintegration into society. Some of these features are an on site general practitioner, library, job-seekers advice and support as well as psychotherapy and holistic reconstitution sessions.
The Design language of a place we grow is heavily influenced by the forms and conceptual narratives of mushrooms, fungi and mycelium, which are celebrated within this design for their symbiotic relationships and regenerative properties. The schemes' aesthetic and functional aspects aim to emulate these natural organisms in their ability to grow and adapt to their surroundings.
The predominantly organic composition of the building was inspired by a common, but very special, mushroom name Coprinopsis Atramentaria; the common inky cap. Mature forms of these fruiting bodies have developed to stick to eachother, edge to edge, slowly over time becoming one singular, large superstructure. During this process they share resources through subterranean mycelium, surviving longer, and stronger together. This is the fundamental ideology of A place we grow.
The building's two-part composition divides the public and private purposes of the scheme, providing the opportunity for residents of the site to feel as though they have a place that they can call their own, becoming the stable foundation that anyone would need to start their journey of a second chance.
The buildings 'reclaimed' conceptual forms are intended to evoke the notion of a pre-existing, conventional architectural space that has been overtaken and transformed by nature's regenerative power. This dynamic is expressed through the give and take of the internal partitions, becoming a blurred boundary that allows for a sense of fluidity and flexibility, encouraging the buildings inhabitants to move through the spaces and engage with the environment along the way.
In conclusion, A place we grow represents a holistic approach to sustainable architecture, embodying the regenerative and rehabilitative power of nature through its balance of aesthetic and functional aspects. This projects design thesis provides a roadmap towards decision making and cohesion in all design aspects, allowing for a sustainable and symbiotic relationship between the building and its environment.