by Raluca Mihaela Hamza
The Brixon Unconventional University is the response to anti gentrification campaigners provoked by Hondo Tower, a twenty-storey office building designed by Sir David Adjaye. The university’s mission is to nurture and support the career of emerging, under-represented artists and to advance an interest in crafting and recycling. It provides platform for Brixtonians to improve skills and demonstrate talent. Their cultural identity would flourish through exhibitions, workshops, education projects and critical debate with artists, thinkers, curators and activists. The proposal is a 10 storey building and has 55m heigh. Inspired by the work of Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, the abstract shape of the building reminds of deconstructivist architecture. The form does not follow the function, yet it is a form of communication. A robust, vibrant civic life relies on the availability of public spaces to bring people together. The university proposal expands through the railway arcades. Workshops, small businesses, bars, shops would enrich the local response to the proposal and the use of the area. Away from the privacy of residential areas, the university’s public square could become the place where Brixtonians gather to spend quality time.