The project called Staiths South Bank Housing is at Gateshead of Newcastle and at the south bank of Tyne River. It is a project tried to promote the sense of community and encourage communicate space of neighbourhood. For the housing alternative module, our group would like to create one with a strong sense of community and we went there for a field trip and case study.

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phase plan, http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=980936&page=35

When we came there, what inspired me most is their communal garden which is shared by residents living unit built in U shape. It is defined by a short fence and has a wooden door which could be open without key. It is not close to public but serve as a protection for children. It is a garden with seat area, play area and plants. Children could play together in this garden, people could talk with each other in this semi-public space. And this space is face to the private backyard. It feels like the space could be well overlooked by everyone who living there, which make it easy to look after children playing in this space. Also as for adult, it is easy to find if there are some interesting communal activities happen and join it. This kind of space make much contribution to the sense of community.

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communal garden with parking, http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1668896&page=2

 

In addition, this kind of spaces have different styles that give people different feelings. Some traditional is just a garden with fence, someone has more grass play area or with different plants and flowers. Someone is open to public and in modern style with a hard ground landscape, or different kind of playground for children and barbecue space. Each communal space has different shape and feeling.

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public space between units, communal garden, http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1668896&page=2
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hard landscape communal garden, http://houseofhemingway.co.uk/hemingway-design/projects/hemingwaydesign-love-working-housing-providers/

 

What make this space more active is that their parking space is in front of or near the communal garden. People could overlook their car in their house and people would go through the garden when they get their car. Also the recycle bin and bike shed is combined with this semi-space.

It also use some street corner space to create a playground for children which is between two living unit and has some trees to stop cars.

This project really inspired me about the sense of community, car parking solution and use pocket space to create interesting neighbourhood. It really make the community like a big family.