Lansdowne Estate

Lansdowne Estate, Sheffield: Case Study


Social Ensemble--

The estate, located in Sheffield, consists of approximately 600 dwelling units. During a Sheffield University Live Project a group of MArch students carried out a large amout of mapping and consultation exercies. Each of which help to build a picture of the social relations within the estate. The image below highlights some of the social networks developed within the estate, demonstrating that immediate spatial relation is not neccessarily key to community.

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Nodes provision--

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Nodes according to Kevin Lynch.
Nodes- centres of attraction that you can enter<- (Konak Square) "are points, the strategic spots in a city into which an observer can enter, and which are intensive foci to and from which he is traveling. They may be primary junctions, places of a break in transportation, a crossing or convergence of paths, moments of shift from one structure to another. Or the nodes may be simply concentrations, which gain their importance from being the condensation of some use or physical character, as a street-corner hangout or an enclosed square … " A node is a center of activity. Actually it is a type of landmark but is distinguished from a landmark by virtue of its active function. Where a landmark is a distinct visual object, a node is a distinct hub (göbek) of activity.

Benches form a common form of social node and are non descriminatory in that they are open to al users. Although generally are occupied by the elder generation.

Other areas commonly found within housing estates are determined by the facilities provided within. Childrens playgrounds for example are not inclusive, they act as nodes for children to interact but also adults, be they parents or guardians also congregate and interact due to the common interst. Something which is defined as a community.

The childrens play areas are also very prescriptive in terms of the activities that can take place, it is unlikely that the equipment provision will be appropriated in any other manner than for what it was designed.

More vague areas of use arise with playing areas or fields. Essentially flat areas of land where activities occur. Within the lansdowne estate the main area for this is the caged ‘games area’. A oddly shaped space not well suited to any sport which happens to take place here. (Its odd to find a pear shaped football pitch or basketball court).

The main area of social interaction within the estate was immediately outside the local convenience store. an area with no design use or programme. Yet was the area with highest activity except for the ‘youth corner’.

It is important to note that the mapping exercise took place during the winter months, therefore is not an exhaustive representation of activity on the estate.

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