• Tom Cole & Christopher Bradley, 5 Square Metres of Desire

    Tom Cole & Christopher Bradley, 5 Square Metres of Desire

    Tom Cole & Christopher Bradley, 5 Square Metres of Desire

5 Square Metres of Desire – Runner Up

Tom Cole & Christopher Bradley

Within current residential development, as enshrined in the London housing Design Guide, all dwellings require a minimum level of private amenity most commonly manifest as a balcony. Dictated by minimum space standards (5m2 for a 1 bed flat) and minimum dimensions (1.5m deep) what manifests are common spatial characteristics now found throughout new development in the city, across areas and tenures.

The balcony is often represented in the lexicon of developer by young couples with glasses of chardonnay at sunset, a limited definition of what these spaces can and are used for.

The balcony represents a space that is simultaneously private amenity and visibly public. Within different cultural groups the relationship between the private interior sphere of the home and outdoors is more complex and nuanced. Likewise people’s own aspirations and desires for how they would and could fully use this space as a component of urban dwelling is more varied than the shallow definition proffered and little explored within contemporary high density residential design. Only through understanding the space as a varied typology and what people want and can achieve within these spaces can we find more social and environmental sustainable design solutions to foster more authentic and sustainable urban living.

This design research projects seeks to investigate, engage and speculate on proposals to both:

  • Understand and classify the balcony as a design typology

  • Through community engagement, explore and map people’s relationship and feelings towards such spaces

  • Explore people’s desires for such spaces

  • Produce open source blueprint designs to enable colonisation of these spaces and with it foster sustainable dwelling.