Community of Building

Exciting that the London Festival of Architecture is almost here, and that it is almost June. The theme 'Community' makes me think about coming together to build.   The idea of building a community around making a building is so appealing.   We tried it out when we built our home in Kew on this principle.

We had a vision of our oblong garage site next to Kew Gardens becoming a site for a factory, that would build the house. We dug a basement and made it into a big workshop. We became main contractor and hired a diverse cohort of men and women to work with us to build the house over the basement factory.  Carpenters and welders came together with architecture graduates, us and our daughters to become a unified team that made and built the house; sharing skills and experience to make something unique and special.

Site learned Craftsmanship from the carpenters  and steel fabricators met the idea of digital craftsmanship enabled by the modelling every aspect of the shell and interior of the house and using digital fabrication machines to precisely cut components, that could be assembled with precision to form a seamless building. 

The idea of building qualities of craftsmanship into a digitally manufactured thing is compelling. Accuracy of cutting and coordination of parts can be made part of design to produce parts that slot together perfectly like a 3D jigsaw puzzle.  

Designing and making such bespoke kits would allow people to come together to build on an architectural scale.  'Saturday Pavilion Club' could see architects & engineers come together with people outside their profession to design make and build something useful and fun in an exciting and meaningful community activity.  

Tim LucasComment