In 2007, during my architectural degree I was assigned into a group of four and asked to come up with a plan to regenerate a part of Liverpool that had long been in need of some refurbishment for our CDP, a Toxteth Architectural Masterplan CDP. So we sat around a table and firstly discussed our ideas on how we should tackle it.
Researching the past
We decided to do some research and discovered that Toxteth used to be a hunting ground for kings of old and then later the home to many dockers and traders of the shipyard docks until the early 20th century. Realising that as a group we had environmental thinking as a priority we wanted to use the idea of the woodlands as a basis for our design and also to show the beauty within Toxteth that has been forgotten due its recent bad press.
This is the Art Installation we created, it was created after we had visited Toxteth and realised that Toxteth had beauty within but it was hidden. The light was created in this form by ‘borrowing’ a fence from a bordered up building that was hiding the beauty of the Toxteth terraces facade. Once we had it we projected images of Toxteth onto the board and through the board different dots of light was created crating an image of beauty, something that people don’t necessarily think of when they think of Toxteth. At the foot of the page is the city skyline and trees populated throughout the city. To represent the idea of repopulating the city with lots of trees and forresting the city to make it green once more.
This was the bridge and market of Toxteth, along the boulevard of Princes Avenue, we noticed it was an used space that had a lot of potential for development to re-energise the area into a busy area once again like it was in the victorian era.
We decided to include a bridge so that it links both sides of the area together to bridge the community on this busy street which we intended to make one way and reopen windsor street on the part of Toxteth to increase passing trade for the shops along that space and make Toxteth thrive again.
The bridge itself would be a green bridge with the opportunity to grow your own vegetables or flowers to help bring a stronger sense of community.
This was the school. The idea of the school was to promote the idea of sustainable lifestyle from a very young age so it is the way they live rather than it being something ‘they choose to do’. When the child enters the school they plant a small sapling and as their education grows the tree also grows with it. After their 18 years of education the tree should be fairly large and then the pupil would be able to replant the tree somewhere else in the city repopulating the city with greenery improving the atmosphere with cleaner air, improving the landscape for the inhabitants and also increasing the value of the properties as it is proven that tree lined streets increase the value of property in its vacinity.
Rather than build a community centre we decided to build a distraction centre. This is a space that allows the community to use it for leisure but see other activities going on around it thus creating a distraction. It is known that a reason a lot of young people say they cause trouble is that they are bored so by havign a distraction centre it would improve the community spirit.
This is the ecotower where the local community can grow their own food and is linked to the school. They are like vertical alotments creating a sense of community and teaching people about food and the benefit of growing it yourself.
Below are a few mockups to show how the idea of a greener Toxteth.
This was a group architecture project i took part in and I enjoyed working with other creatives very much, we came up with some great ideas and actually looking back some of our own ideas have started to be implemented only this year in Wirral ( as they are starting to plant more trees) and the green bridge is also something a dutch designer created so some concepts we had back in 2007 are also in the minds of other architects, we definitely had the right thinking. Although architecture is not what I now practice it was a great experience and led me to where I am today. I hope you enjoyed reading this article about my past education.