Adaptability through Hybridity

ABA’s proposition for a 21st century warehouse extracts features from 19th Century warehouses (e.g. simple forms, robust structures) in combination with contemporary office formats, workplace standards and the required modularity of residential buildings to offer a hybrid ‘warehouse’ typology catering to an infinite range of uses as an economically viable ‘new build’ scenario.  The approach is visualised through their proposal for a large-scale development in Cambridge on a brownfield site.  The proposal makes use of a programme matrix to establish a range of possible uses while a typology matrix explores how the different uses (e.g. office, student accommodation) can be linked and interchanged within a single building.  The dynamic elevation is a result of the programmatic and spatial variations in section and plan.  Overall, their proposal is grounded in a context sensitive approach towards design using architecture’s materiality to make meaningful connections with the community (e.g. the playful patterning of a nearby university emblem on the façade) promoting the building’s longevity.


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