Lyndon Jessop

Coatsworth Urban Rooms

This final year project addresses the issues of community disengagement from the planning process and trauma resulting from dramatic changes to the urban fabric of Bensham, Gateshead, through providing a democratic space to understand and influence the built environment. Building on existing frameworks such as Geddes’ city museum and Farrell’s contemporary urban room, the scheme aims to empower civic society through spaces for dialogue with planners, architects and artists and exhibitions of existing and future projects.

The scheme reinvigorates a commonly used pedestrian route in the centre of Bensham dominated by vehicles, creating a new public realm which flows in and out of the building envelope, instigating a common ground for meeting and discussion.

Construction techniques and materials recall the familiar and typical domestic architecture of Bensham, and the process of decay and deconstruction of these forms, incorporating the past and present urban condition into the fabric of the building. Basic forms and massing are derived from ubiquitous typologies such as gable end, chimney and repetitive facade, with the building as a reconstruction of the everyday urban form in the present and the past.