Swansea Trading Point
Today’s Ffordd Industrial Park has been replaced by an 800 thousand square ft Amazon warehouse managing up to 2000 workers. In a place of high unemployment and low economic opportunity which Amazon deliberately sites its distribution centres. My project is based in a speculative scenario of 2050 in which resources are rapidly depleting – raising importance of local people, resources, trade and climate. It involves upcycling the existing Amazon warehouse and to dismantle the framework of a fast-pace online marketplace by transforming it into a physical platform to unite a variety of designers, craftsmen and prosumers.
I aim to produce a platform for them to interact, educate and share ideas with each other, adding value to a marketplace by allowing people to experience a landscape in which the narrative of their product is showcased.
Swansea Trading Zone Proposal
Furthermore, Wales’ huge stock of low grade, fast growing softwood, Larch and Sitka Spruce can be harvested in Neath, loaded, treated and assembled on site using the Brettstapel construction method into different forms of furniture or prefabricated building components. Reigniting and rejuvenating a trade between Swansea and Neath.
To study my site, I researched images online as there is no access permitted inside the warehouse and I assumed a steel and truss system to fulfil the 12m by 24m bays. I aim to breakdown the shed into an undulating section of enclosed, semi- open and solid volumes. These trade spaces are driven by ideas of the circular and shared economy providing people with the tools to create their products and extend the life-cycle of them to activate the potential of a new way of consumption. To provide a contrasting threshold between the two markets, I have proposed a new roof that elevates the makers market and utilises existing trusses as well as harnessing timber ones. The additional wooden truss and infills are symbolic of the home- grown timber trade and suggest a more human and softer quality in comparison to the existing factory setting.
My project is about connecting this area of Swansea to its trading history and the celebration of local raw material to revive Swansea as a firm economic alternative to modern retail incentives.