Neath Hill – Utopia Station
by Manos Pertselakis
Studio 2′s Introduction to the London Metropolitan University Department of Architecture and Spatial Design Summer Exhibition.
Milton Keynes is considered to be one of the most successful, large-scale development projects ever undertaken in England. The new town has enjoyed continuous population growth, up from 65,000 in 1970 to 210,000 today, and created 60,000 new households. It hosts 7,200 employers, and has been rated fifth of 48 UK cities for overall business environment.
The archetype of the low density, suburban city MK is the phenomenon at its purest and most intense. We believe a careful documentation and analysis of both its physical form and residents’ adaptation is as important to architects and urbanists today as were studies of Georgian London and ancient Rome to earlier generations. Such a study aims to contribute to the definition of this little understood urban form that is rapidly becoming the dominant form of development throughout the world.
Through open minded and nonjudgmental investigation, Studio 2 have come to understand this distinct form and begun to evolve techniques for its handling. Adapting approaches pioneered by the ‘Learning from Las Vegas’ studio at Yale, taught by Venturi Scott Brown in 1968, we have established a vocabulary of forms for residential buildings, infrastructure and a variety of civic typologies.
The main project confronts the paradox that lies at the heart of MK Man, the contradictions of the Lone Ranger vs Family Guy – to design a neighbourhood centre in the centreless city. Having interrogated the neighbourhood and the notion of the centre, and having identified the needs and aspirations of those who live there, we have each made a proposal for our individual grid squares in MK.
On one level this can be viewed as 21 individual interpretations of a neighbourhood centre for 21 sites in a suburban city. On another level it is a collective proposal for a new suburban civic architecture.
Studio 2 / AOC
A Visual Lexicon of Milton Keynes showing 17 grid squares and 17 proposals for new suburban civic centres.
PDF of Milton Keynes Lexicon here.
1. Stantonbury – Public Lounge, Barbara Kowalska
2. Linford Wood – Coppice Office, Cindy Hidalgo Reyes
4. Bradwell Common – Museum of Common Treasures, Osayemi Olusola
6. Downs Barn – John’s Garage, Darja Buhanovska
8. CMK West – Silbury Festival Park, Sara Dabouni
9. Campbell Park – Public Back Yards, Anton Burdeiny
10. Oldbrook – Oldbrook Publido Park, Maryam Gomary
11. Fishermead – Fishermead Furniture Swapshop, Elodie Drissi
12. Springfield – Active/Passive Centre, Darta Viksna
13. Woolstone – Tesco Rural, Tom Rowland
14. Leadenhall and Coffee Hall – Civic Supercentre, Fatin Umair Gardazi
15. Eaglestone – Drive-Thru Gallery, Agata Podgajna
17. Netherfield – Productive Landscape for Netherfield, Sanna Rautio