Stavros Sgouros
United Kingdom

The current project examines the utilization of Red Sands Fort, a complex of abandoned WW2 sea forts, designed by British engineer Guy Maunsell, in the Thames Estuary, in the southern part of United Kingdom. The idea of converting former war machines into spaces of touristic development is introduced and aims to redefine the main principles of both tourism and communal living. The main factors that influenced the process of design are the history, the natural environment and the experimentation with forms, that will lead the users to question the state of alienation that has shaped the 21st century.

The factors that led to the selection of Red Sands Fort for adaptive reuse are:

– Representation of the darkest time in world history

– Ability to bring past into the future

– Distinct location

– Abandoned & left to decay

– Unique, futuristic & dystopian architectural characteristics

– Current plan format enables clear use-development strategy

– Existent materiality allows experimentation with forms & structures

– Personal interest in army structures

The final proposal consists of the design of a small communal hotel facility, a space of self-reflection and gathering, away from the constant passing of time, but absorbed in the change of the nature around it. A new utopian environment is proposed, fighting the dystopia of the past, but still preserving the history through an experiential approach. This complex will function as a new beacon in the middle of the sea, a place of peace and shared living, achieving the continuous commu nication among its users through monolithic structures and the avoidance of any kind of separation.

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