Studio A – Under the Pavement

The brief aims towards the investigation of ‘lost spaces’ in Manchester culminating with the proposal of an intervention meant to restore the site’s purpose and reintegration within the wider urban fabric. However, what falls under the category of  ‘lost space’? Does this notion necessarily imply derelict or damaged? Alternatively, does it mean devoided of identity, in the need of a revolution as a cleansing act of the urban subconscious?

I believe Spinningfields is the truly lost, forgotten space in the city, one that has abandoned its meaning or goals behind its sheer glass panels.

A capitalist bauble, the drive of which is Manchester’s entrepreneurial strategy to revive and re-position the city as a vibrant financial enclave through ‘cutting edge design’, Spinningfields is the home of a series of paradoxes which revolve around its aesthetic and programmatic choices.

Inspired by the Situationist context of the underground Parisian intellectual societies, the project proposes as a response to the corporate overground a subterranean network of programmes, aimed to accommodate The Basement – Manchester’s activist centre.

Image

Sous les pavés, la plage…

McKenzie Wark’s The Beach Beneath the Street on the Situationist International is on of the books that has had a deep impact in the choice of my thesis subject. Reading it sparked my interest in finding out more about cities of revolution but also urban scenography.

An interactive interpretation of the book by author/illustrator Kevin C. Pyle can be found here.

This is a record of my research and findings over the next few months in the fields of architecture, urbanism, cinema, politics and history.