by William Lambert


William Lambert


MArch Architecture

This proposal aims to tackle the diminishing ecology and lack of community surrounding the River Lea through the adaptive reuse of two 20th century warehouses on the western bank of the Lea. Ecologically this scheme is orientated around the promotion of fourth nature, a term referring to urban ecology that develops in non-designed areas. These ruderal species provide a springboard for deeply rich ecology to develop from, but are rarely allowed to flourish due to their lack of socio-economic value. By providing spaces with a variety of disturbed surfaces and climatic conditions, fourth nature is encouraged to flourish in areas that merge together community activity and ecology, shifting the culture we have towards these perceived ‘weeds’ to one of appreciation. The multi-programmatic scheme builds off pre-existing scattered community activities, merging them on-site to provide spaces for the likes of urban farming, karate and ecological research. Existing thresholds are made permeable with routes breaking through the site and across the river, interlinking previously fragmented areas. Interlinking into ecology's metabolism, the site acts as an autopoetic (self sustaining) system, drawing water from the River Lea and heat from beneath the lorry parks, distributing them to aid human activity and ecological development.