Part 2 – Peter Darby


This  thesis  project  has  evolved  from an  interest  in  the  development  of Cities and how different socio-cultural scenarios can affect their development. What effect do imposing forces have on a City and its cultural identity? The French port of Calais is a City in transition. Its socio-cultural identity is adapting due to a migrant population descending  on  the  City,  usually  to escape  war  torn  homes  and  oppression.


The migrants share one common goal; to reach the UK. It  has  been  documented  that  there  are approximately  2,500  migrants  currently living  within  Calais.  The  conditions which they are living within are often dire;  sleeping  in  make  shift  shelters and  squats,  washing  in  dirty  canals, wearing  whatever  clothes  they  can  find and  risking  their  lives  attempting  to smuggles  themselves  to  the  UK. Existing actors attempt to assist the migrants in their struggle.  Charitable organisations provide daily meals and items of clothing. Activist groups help find suitable squats and support the migrants in their clandestine activity. The police and border authorities do their upmost to prevent this help making the work of the activist groups largely frowned upon and often illegal. The  proposed  scenario  doesn’t  look  to change  the  current  work  of  existing actors,  but  seeks  to  improve  their ability to assist the migrant population.  The work  of  charitable  organisations  will act  as  a  ‘disguise’  for  the  work  of the  activist  groups  allowing  them  to continue to operate with a reduced chance of being caught by the authorities.

Pete Darby

The architectural programme centres around the creation of places for social interaction.  Where  stories  can  be  told, clandestine  techniques  can  be  shared, survival  knowledge  can  be  passed  on  and resources can be exchanged. Migrants can share their knowledge with one another or with local actors participating within the proposal;  learning  from  one another, experiencing different cultures.



Bond Bryan Architects

West Yorkshire Society of Architects

Part of Lighting Exchanges from Deltalight

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