Street Life: Communes For Urbanites – Mark Rist – University of Westminster


Today’s project ‘Street Life’ by Mark Rist, is an older RIBA head nod back from 2008, and a very widely reviewed project.  The context of the project challenges the modular society that modern city dwellers reside in.  Where we seek individuality, yet reside in unconnected modulars.  ‘Street Life’ strives to create a new city streetscape that is in constant flux. Check it out after the jump! 

SCHOOL: University of Westminster, London UK 
STUDENT: Mark Rist
AWARD: RIBA – Commendation – Serjeant Award 
YEAR: 2008

“Set within the tough reality of repetitive modular design – and located between Old Compton Street and Oxford Street in central London – this design project proposes a new urban streetscape which can embrace the simple and seemingly banal acts of commercial and domestic everyday life within Soho’s particular vibrant and (it should be said) voyeuristic context.

While acknowledging that there is an apparent inability to conceive a genuinely globalised context even in a city like London, for to do so would result in an undeniable flattening of individuality, it is still clearly the case that we live similarly modulated lives as modern urban dwellers. How can we mix the feeling that we are special and unique with the knowledge also that we are not? Hence it is within the subtle idiosyncratic acts of personal desire and commodification, as well as our often near-invisible mannerisms and behavioural patterns, that the shared space of the contemporary street truly comes alive. We perform, we consume, we blend in, and we feel energised by our daily links to others whom we do not even know.

Thus this project seeks to provide the sense of a physical ‘commune’ that can address the sense of temporality experienced by urbanites in a place like Soho. It does this though by proposing a new hybrid between a domestic and a commercial street, set within a design strategy which equally embraces but also indefinitely shatters the typical cliches of modular dwelling systems. The project’s aim is to deliver a generic, self-made and fluctuating urban environment which will help towards the creation of an even more eclectic and vibrant condition of street life.”
-Mark Rist

All Text and Images from: www.presidentsmedals.com

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One thought on “Street Life: Communes For Urbanites – Mark Rist – University of Westminster

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