Beacons have historically acted as icons and warnings to society. These take many forms, such as lighthouses, clock towers, skyscrapers, and natural beacons such as mountains. The urgent need for sustainable affordable housing on the Isles of Scilly provides an opportunity for a new beacon – one that warns and inspires society to change dramatically to combat the climate crisis.
CO2 levels in our atmosphere are rising at an unprecedented rate, with the Isles of Scilly being particularly at risk from the associated sea level rise. Building and construction is responsible for 39% of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK, with 28% from operational emissions and 11% from embodied carbon.
This thesis explores a new system of affordable living on the Isles of Scilly, based on a sustainble, bio-based structure providing an affordable coliving scheme. Currently, the islands rely entirely on imported construction materials, which have an associated carbon footprint in production and transportation. This project will reduce this reliance by introducing new crops to the islands, allowing on-site experimenting with new bio-based materials.
The scheme exploits existing topographic features of the islands to allow it to act as a visible beacon. A playful observation tower will allow visual celebration of the islands’ unique beauty and emphasize their vulnerability to the effects of the climate crisis.
Bio-Beacon, a drawing of the scheme showing the public realm, workshop, coliving and beacon.
Section through the workshop, with adjacent public landscape.
Section through a private living space.
Drawing of a private balcony, showing elevation above the public realm.
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Curated by Laura Selwood