Group 30

We are collaborating with the Chorlton Traders Association to address abandoned spaces in Chorlton and help regenerate the area through temporary use in architecture. We will be mapping out vacant spaces and derelict pieces of the urban grain to create an argument for why a rapid intervention is needed. Our focus is on reactivating the neighbourhood, engaging with the local makers and traders to ensure social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Download Final Report

Karolina O / Alice A / Padmaja Anant R / Matthew N

February 6th

We kicked off our project with a day on site! Alan - our collaborator from the Chorlton Traders Association - gave us an insightful tour around our area of Chorlton. We identified the abandoned and derelict spaces we will focus on and chatted about the opportunities which introducing temporary use will unlock. It was great to have a chance to experience the atmosphere of the place and feel so close to the tight-knit community. We’re so excited to be working in Chorlton!!!
Posted 13 Mar 2023 10:46
February 21st

As a group of 5, we are collaborating with the Chorlton Traders Association to address vacant spaces in Chorlton to start their regeneration with temporary architecture. We will be mapping out these vacant spaces and derelict pieces of the urban grain like buildings, shutters, electrical boxes etc; creating an argument for why a rapid intervention is needed. We’ve planning a variety of workshops, including working in-situ, giving opportunities to brush up on research abilities, surveying, AutoCAD, model making, Photoshop and Sketchup skills.
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:01
Team intro: Alice

Pronouns: She/Her
Atelier: PRAXXIS
Dissertation: How have post-‘Thatcherism’ housing and planning policies contributed to the UK housing crisis that is evident today? A case study of Manchester City Centre.
Architectural interests: I am interested in intersectional participatory design approaches that are focused on producing quality spaces for communities to thrive. I believe in engagement practices, over consultation, and like to embed this into the design process from the very beginning. In my Part 1 placement I worked on several community schemes and social housing refurbishments, employing retrofit first perspectives to maintain the important fabric and character of existing buildings.
Spare time: I’m an outdoors person who enjoys hiking, cycling, and camping. I also enjoy attending music gigs, exploring local book shops, and making pancakes 😊
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:03
Team intro: Matt

Pronouns: He/Him
Atelier: PRAXXIS
Dissertation: ‘There’s No [Queer] Place Like Home’ Domesticity and Place Attachment Beyond the Heteronormative.
Architectural interests: I am interested in place-making practices, looking at how a queered view of architecture embodies an intersectional approach to design. In practice I worked on sensitive residential extensions to listed barns and bespoke house renovations in Cheshire. I enjoy working with light, shadow, material and texture in order to create specific spatial qualities for specific user experiences.
Spare time: I often paint when free or tend my allotment and am currently renovating a house for resale. I can be found in a Northern Quarter bar most weekends if not back in Essex seeing family.
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:04
Team intro: Padmaja

Pronouns: She/Her
Atelier: CPU
Dissertation: Urban morphology quantification: A case-based comparative analysis at Mumbai, India.
Architectural interests: I am interested in information about the system's functionality, data structures, interfaces, processing logic, performance characteristics. Throughout my architectural school, I have tried to make a conscious effort to approach design as a process rather an end product which has in turn inspired me to always try to look for the most holistic and cognitive solution to the design problem. In practice I worked on various large scale residential and commercial buildings.
Spare time: I’m a major book nerd when it comes to my spare time, but I also like to hike and maybe read a book on the edge of a mountain ;)
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:06
Team intro: Karol

Pronouns: She/Her
Atelier: FLUX
Dissertation: Dematerialising space with the use of light: a study on James Turrell’s art shifting our perception.
Architectural interests: I am interested in site-specific schemes, really capturing the atmosphere of the place where they’re located. I find myself passionate about the user’s sensual experience of the structures I create. In practice I worked on various renovations and adaptive reuse of listed building in residential and retail.
Spare time: I enjoy cycling, hiking in the Peaks especially and analogue photography. I’ve recently taken up crocheting again, but adore a good music gig and a bit of a boogie!
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:07
Action Plan: WEEK 1

We’ve developed a draft action plan for the 2 weeks of hands on work in May! Have a look at WEEK 1 and see if you’re interested! We want to work on site in Chorlton and get to model-making in the B.15 studio 😉
Posted 13 Mar 2023 11:23
Action plan: WEEK 2

WEEK 2 timetable of the action weeks. We want to engage in lots of concept and design work to activate the neighbourhood!
Posted 13 Mar 2023 15:47
Heads up! We're presenting on Thursday 18th May!

This week we’re starting our MSA Live project and can’t wait to meet you all! At the end of the second action week are planning a final wrap up session at the Chorlton Central Church. We’d like to invite you all to join us there, to meet and engage in conversation with our collaborator from Chorlton Traders and a few other friendly faces from different community groups. It will take place on Thursday 18th May 4:30- 6:30pm in the meeting room ( Now, let’s get started with prep for Action Week 1!!
Posted 8 May 2023 14:57
Pre-project information!

We’re kicking off Tuesday morning, 9th of May, at 10am in Geoffrey Monton Building on the MMU campus, room GM306. We’ll be starting with some introductions about us, the topic of temporary use and area we’re working in! That will be followed by a 1-2h walk around Chorlton to immerse yourself in the site’s atmosphere. To get there, we’ll be taking the tram together. Please bring your laptops for some initial research, sketchbooks and pens/ pencils. You might want to bring a camera (phones are okay as well!) to gather some pics from the walk. We’re going to finish off at a local pub to get to know each other a bit better and chat about the following activities this week. See you tomorrow 😉
Posted 8 May 2023 15:12
Some background information!

Temporary architecture is the topic we’re going to be tacking for the next couple of weeks starting tomorrow. Recently, we’ve been experiencing more and more ephemeral examples of structures that show permanency isn’t the power of architecture. Community and collective identity of an area can be reinforced by action, reclaiming and redefining! The initiatives often seek to really understand the local needs and regional expressions of inclusivity and unique potential. To have a bit of a head start we recommend this article which features amazing pieces of community architecture that popped up just in 2022: . The approach we will be taking is adaptive reuse of existing spaces, but it’s good practice to get inspired by a range of examples!

Images taken from the link source above overlayed over own photograph of Chorlton.
Posted 8 May 2023 17:20
Questions to get you thinking!

How can we bring this approach to Chorlton, in Manchester?

Who will this benefit?

What materials are most suitable for sustainable structures?

How does it increase the social, environmental, economic value of the re-used space?

Those are just a few questions, extremely relevant to contemporary architecture, which we want to answer during this mini- project.

Images are the curtesy of Assemble Studio and the project is The Cineroleum, taken from

Posted 8 May 2023 17:21
May 9th (Morning)

This morning, we began by introducing ourselves and having a group discussion about the progress of the BA1 and BA2 students in meeting their deadlines, as well as their experiences in Manchester thus far. Next, we delivered a presentation about what meanwhile space is and the existing vacant spaces in Chorlton, discussing several precedents to inspire their creativity and encourage them to consider various design opportunities. We also discussed the project client and their expectations and introduced the students to the project site by showing them maps and pictures to help them become more familiar with it before visiting in person this afternoon.
Posted 10 May 2023 13:21
May 9th (Afternoon)

The afternoon consisted of a tour of Chorlton headed by our MArch students Matt and Karol. This guided walk provided an introduction to the site, highlighting the needs and specific issues that required attention. This gave us a better understanding and sense of the site. We took a break in the Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre precinct, our site, where we sat, sketched, chatted with locals, and conducted a SWOT analysis of the area.
Posted 10 May 2023 13:23
May 9th (Late Afternoon)

After our site visit, before heading home, we stopped at a nearby pub for a drink. This allowed us to further engage with each other. The MArch students discussed the differences between studying in Atelier and working in practices, and the undergraduate students shared their experiences in architecture so far. This strengthened our relationships with the students and left us feeling excited and eager to collaborate. We ended the day on a very positive note - looking forward to getting cracking in the morning!
Posted 10 May 2023 13:24
May 10th

We began the day by reviewing photos from our site visit and then created a Miro board to share our ideas for potential interventions that could be further explored. As a collective we discussed people's visions and ideas for the vacant spaces in Chorlton and starting thinking about different user groups. After a thorough discussion, we concluded the day with some fantastic ideas that could be further investigated. On to tomorrow!
Posted 10 May 2023 13:47
11th May (Morning)

We have been to one of the sites in Chorlton which we thought could benefit from temporary interventions. The Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre has recently been struggling a bit in terms of tenants pulling out and you can find a few empty units around there. This is because the proposed development has less commercial units than currently exist and are therefore no longer renewing leases when they end. We thought the precinct square, which has quite a significant footfall and is used by the locals. As a team we surveyed the area, to then draw it up in AutoCAD and populate with our design proposals of temporary solutions to improve the space.
Posted 11 May 2023 15:49
May 11th (Afternoon)

After coming back from Chorlton we’ve split into smaller groups working on a physical model, drawing the survey up in AutoCAD, researching the topic of meanwhile architecture, and creating design proposals. We’ve been working hard on making a good start on the outputs, simultaneously learning new skills and working both by hand and in different digital software.

Tomorrow, the plan is to continue working in groups but switching these over at midday so that we can all try out our skills in different stages of design. Remember to watch the health and safety video before going to B15 modelmaking workshop! Tomorrow, some of us are meeting in B15 and the rest in MTC at 10am, see you there! Hope you enjoyed today!
Posted 11 May 2023 16:07
May 11th (afternoon)

Karol lead a workshop on photoshop teaching how to merge photos, taken on site this morning, into a collage of elevations. These will then be sketched over to illustrate conceptual proposals and used as part of the presentation to our client next week.
Posted 12 May 2023 11:16
May 12th (Morning)

This morning we split into our subgroups and began working on the presentation materials. Some of the group headed over to the B.15 workshop to begin modelling the focal Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre precinct site and surrounding context. The model making team received machine and equipment tutorials and learnt how to plot and laser-cut! The rest of the group were busy working in the MTC, drafting the presentation slides for next Thursday and completing the Precinct plans on AutoCAD (to scale), based on the data collected from survey.
Posted 12 May 2023 14:45
May 12th (Plan for 13th-14th Weekend)

As part of our research output we are filling our Miro board with precedents on 'Meanwhile Use' and concepts for how to implement these within the vacant sites we identified on our site visit. Over the weekend we will be developing this mind map of ideas, detailing our selected precedents with research and intervention sketches so we can crack on with the interventions themselves from the get-go next week. This board has been a great way to connect and share when people have been working remotely!
Posted 12 May 2023 15:18
May 12th (Afternoon)

A productive close to the week! The B.15 team have used scrap materials and low-cost mdf to create a really smart model. We are so excited to create sketch interventions to fill the model with...roll on next week!

Presentation slides are coming together nicely and the survey is now complete, ready to be used as a location for our interventions. Our vacant sites map is also taking shape, illustrating just how pressing meanwhile use is for Chorlton where many high-street stores are shuttered in the day or closed altogether.

Wishing everyone a relaxing weekend and refuel ready for our second action week!
Posted 12 May 2023 16:10
Chorlton Arts Festival: 19-28th May!

We were looking at the Chorlton Arts Festival, which is a community arts festival run entirely by volunteers and featuring artists from South Manchester. Their aim is to involve artists from all backgrounds irrespective of their capabilities or their income. Any form of art is welcome: music, singing, visual arts, creative writing, poetry and more. This happens in cafes, bars, shops, open public spaces, churches and schools. This year the event will take place between the 19th and 28th of May. Potentially, the framework of our project involves the people and work that's already being contributed around Chorlton.

Image source:
Posted 15 May 2023 14:27
May 15th (Morning)

Can't believe we're starting WEEK 2 already! We’ve picked up where we left off on Friday and headed off to B.15 to finish our context model of Chorlton. Using reclaimed pieces and bits of materials, we’ve now got a base for our ideas and interventions to go on top of. We’ll be modelling our concepts and designs during the next couple of days for the final presentation of Thursday!
Posted 15 May 2023 14:36
May 15th (Afternoon)

The other groups were cracking on with proposals for the temporary interventions. Before the final meeting with our clients, we’re planning on having developed those ideas into collages, sketches and models. Our plan is to include a variety of potential designs that can be considered for physical interventions around Chorlton in the future.
Posted 15 May 2023 14:53
May 15th

Work in progress!! We are continuously brainstorming to put together a range of temporary interventions that can be applied in the context of Chorlton. We are basing them around a general framework according to how quickly they can be implemented in real time. We are proposing the Shopping Precinct in the neighbourhood to be a central location for community engagement. As we are progressing with multiple ideas and initiatives the list keeps growing, changing and developing, we’re excited to see where the rest of the week takes us!!
Posted 15 May 2023 15:08
May 16th (Morning)

We have drawn up the measured survey of the precinct, looking at CAD line weights, hatching and page-boarding formatting for those not too familiar with the software. The existing plan has been used to confirm our interventions and where they will be located in the precinct, a 'proposed' populated plan will be created to sit alongside this when interventions have been modelled and finalised.
Posted 16 May 2023 12:22
May 16th (Morning continued)

Transporting the model from B.15 to studio, we began exploring methods of mapping our interventions with colour-coded string and circular stick-ons. Concept visuals are almost complete, populating them with people and landscaping gives a good indication of how our proposals could be utilised and enjoyed by locals. Let's get all this great work into the presentation slides ready to wow on Thursday!
Posted 16 May 2023 13:06
May 16th (afternoon)

The group's conceptual images are being finished off and added into the presentation. These images use perspective photos taken on our site visit to Chorlton earlier this week. They've been drawn over to show specifically how interventions could operate in context. This has been a fun process of getting our ideas across in colourful and abstract ways!!
Posted 16 May 2023 14:59
May 17th (Afternoon)

Today's all about the finishing touches to all the outputs we've produced during the past week and a half! The model team is working hard to get it finished for the presentation tomorrow. We've got other teams working on the presentation itself, maps, and visuals. It looks like it's coming together nicely and we can all feel that the end is in sight! Tomorrow will be all about preparing for the meeting we've got lined up in the afternoon in Chorlton ;)
Posted 17 May 2023 11:49
May 17th (Afternoon)

We've taken the model to the B.12 photography studio to introduce it to the students that haven't been to the space. We have managed to create a great model so we got a set of professionally taken photos of the interventions in context. This afternoon, we got the presentation ready as well as the AutoCAD scaled plan of the Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre precinct with our interventions to scale. It's been a busy day!
Posted 17 May 2023 16:11
BA Team: India

As a wrap up session and a big thank you for collaboration ,we asked all BA students to submit a reflection on the past two weeks. These will be popping up on the blog throughout the day! Starting with India's...

I have enjoyed collaborating with a team across different year groups. I appreciated working with two members of Praxxis which is the atelier I would like to go into in third year. All the MArch leads have brought different expertise and I have learnt new skills from them. The project has been exciting and rewarding as it is based in the community that I live in, Chorlton.

I have learnt new skills in photoshop and illustrator, how to produce a site model from data download and AutoCAD. On site we were able to measure using a laser distance meter which I hadn’t used before. Most importantly I have learnt how to implement a client’s needs within a community setting in a creative way.

Along with my skills and positive experience, I will take forwards the advice and insights that the 5th years gave about part one placements.
Posted 18 May 2023 10:42
BA Team: Luana

Doing site analysis, sharing thoughts, and learning to structure a project as a team has been beneficial for me. I appreciate this experience, and will use these new approaches into my further work as a student.

Each member of our fantastic team showed engagement and enthusiasm for collaboration. Thanks for putting in the effort and good job everyone!
Posted 18 May 2023 10:46
BA Team: Joe

I've enjoyed meeting people in other years and the insight they have provided. It has been very easy to talk to everyone and the project was made more interesting due to the skills I learned with help from the masters students particularly.

I finally learnt photoshop after avoiding it all year. This was due to the help of the masters students. I've also learnt how to survey a site and delegate work to others when working in a team.
Posted 18 May 2023 10:54
BA Team: Jiacheng

I like the modeling part the most. From the initial plan to the implementation of the workshop. I really enjoy the modeling process. I also learned a lot about operating the machines and it was my first time making models in a workshop.

I learned a few tricks for fieldwork and modelling skills

I really appreciated all the knowledge and skills I have learned! And of course the spirit of teamwork!
Posted 18 May 2023 11:12
BA Team: Alessandro

I really enjoyed doing this project because it made me develop new skills. Thanks to this project, I deepened my knowledge in photoshop and discovered how to cut wood blocks using a bandsaw. It was quite unfortunate I didn’t start the project with much information but after the first day, I understood the task and as a team we worked brilliantly. I will definitely try to use bandsaws in the future for site models and make better collages with my newly acquired photoshop skills.
Posted 18 May 2023 11:13
BA Team: Ellie

Over the last two weeks, I have really enjoyed working with students from different years with more knowledge and experience than me. It was very helpful and insightful to be able to turn to them for guidance and advice throughout the project. I really enjoyed contributing to the site model in B.15 and learnt many skills there, using the bandsaw for the first time. I will definitely carry these skills into future projects. The community focus of this scheme has definitely helped inform my Studio 1.2 project. It has been very rewarding to work on a live project where you can visit and return to site, and I am excited to see the positive impact of future interventions in Chorlton’s vacant spaces.

Posted 18 May 2023 11:17
BA Team: De-Winton

I enjoyed collaborating with students with greater experience and skills. It was great to talk through my ideas and iterations with members of the group. I quite liked the broad project brief- it allowed us great freedom in decision-making. The subject matter was also quite intriguing.

I was involved in the making of the Laser cutting file and have therefore developed my knowledge of AutoCAD.

I want to develop my skills in digital design, so I aim to use Photoshop as well as AutoCAD in my next projects as I have only used PowerPoint up to this point.
Posted 18 May 2023 11:26
BA Team: Dominic

I’ve enjoyed the fact that community engagement has been at the heart of this project from the start. Developing concepts around temporary, playful architecture has also been a refreshing change of pace from the usual studio projects, and the framework we’ve developed here will hopefully allow the stakeholders of Chorlton to implement their own ideas, which feels like a genuinely useful tool that will serve the community in the months and years to come.

I think it would have been nice to create some more models or perhaps a 1:1 intervention as an example of what can be achieved.

I’ve learned a lot about how to structure community-led projects and seeing the impact small, cheap and/or temporary architecture can have on spaces has been very eye opening. I’ve also picked up some valuable tips for Photoshop and InDesign.

I definitely want to focus community engagement in my future studio projects and I now feel like I have the framework for achieving this. I’d also like to experiment more with this kind of low impact architecture as a means of creating interventions that do not require a large economic or carbon cost to implement.
Posted 18 May 2023 11:30
BA Team: Athina

I enjoyed learning about the context of the site in Chorlton and looking at examples of meanwhile projects. I also enjoyed exploring how different types of materiality can be incorporated into projects.

I have learnt new ways to express and illustrate concepts and iteration for projects and how to incorporate and evaluate precedents in my projects.

In future projects studio projects I will explore different types of materiality and concepts of meanwhile projects.
Posted 18 May 2023 12:25
May 18th (Afternoon)

After a strenuous two-week effort, we have successfully completed the conceptual drawings and finalised our presentation. We are now gearing up for the client meeting scheduled for this evening. Working as a team has been a delightful experience, the undergraduate enthusiasm and fresh perspectives have added value to our work. It's been a pleasure working with this talented group, and we are excited to showcase our collective efforts during the presentation. See you at 5pm!
Posted 18 May 2023 14:56
Answering our brief

Working through the brief set by Alan, and Chorlton Traders Association, we established the following outputs that have been completed throughout our action weeks:

1. Research into meanwhile use.
2. A roadmap for implementation of meanwhile use in Chorlton.
3. A measured survey of an existing premises in Chorlton.
4. Provide examples of potential proposals in Chorlton, using precedents of similar project that have been successfully implemented elsewhere.
5. A culmination of all this research and design proposals into a presentation.
Posted 19 May 2023 14:19
Output: Research and a roadmap for implementation

As part of our research into meanwhile use, we have come up with a suggested timeline of implementation that looks at the timeframes that meanwhile uses (generally) and our proposals (specifically) could be completed by. The colour scheme of this timeline correlates with our final output model to show how the interventions of different timescales can be implemented along the high street.

Immediate interventions could include the shutter front murals and displays of local artwork in vacant shop windows as these are low cost solutions that can be implemented straight way.

Short-term interventions could include installations at the entrances to the precincts designed to entice visitors into the space and increase footfall for the existing businesses and meanwhile use installations. These solutions are also low cost and quickly implemented, but may require slightly more planning and permission.

Medium-term interventions could include renovating the vacant Thomas Cook unit or installations within the precinct itself. These solutions can transform already vacant spaces that don’t require change of use planning permission and may be best suited to single shop units and/or external interventions.

Long-term interventions could be to look at how to bring the vacant Systems Plus office back into temporary use as this would require a much larger level of intervention, planning and preparation.
Posted 19 May 2023 14:24
Output: Immediate intervention concept visual

Over the two-weeks the team of BA students have been putting together photoshop visuals of design proposals over images of Chorlton taken on our site visits. These conceptual images played a key role in the presentation, allowing us to explain and show how different types of meanwhile use interventions could be implemented across a range of different sites.

Designed to combat the number of closed properties along the high street (either vacant units or bars/restaurants that are close during the day), Joe’s visual shows how shutter murals can be implemented. The colourful designs represent the function of the interior spaces.
Posted 19 May 2023 14:25
Output: Short-term intervention concept visual

Jiacheng’s visual identifies one of the 3 entrances to the Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre and uses Fred Aldous’ artist residency by Marcus Method as a precedent for brightly coloured murals to highlight the entrance within the carpark. These colours could also be spread up the vacant office block above, by colouring the empty windows, similar to the regeneration scheme in Park Hill flats, Sheffield.
Posted 19 May 2023 14:26
Output: Medium-term intervention concept visual

Ellie’s visual depicts a adaptable and versatile community hub that can be used as a catalyst for meanwhile use in Chorlton by providing space to engage with the local community. Located on one of the 3 entrances to the Chorlton Cross Shopping Centre, and along the Wilbraham Road high street, it marks the principal entrance to the precinct. Using the Living Room Library (by Jan Kattein Architects) and street painting in Vercorin (by Lang/Bauman) as precedents, this design proposal, suggests blurring boundaries between public street and interior spaces to encourage relationships between this hub, other meanwhile uses around Chorlton, and activities carried out within the local community.
Posted 19 May 2023 14:26
Output: Measured survey

This scaled plan is based on our onsite survey of the precinct from the beginning of the action weeks. We have used it to show how all the design proposals, located within the precinct, could interact with each other and the existing structure. We’ve used this to explore the process of taking abstract conceptual designs and sketches into a measured and realistic drawing.
Posted 19 May 2023 14:32
Output: Final model

Our model making team (Dom, Jiacheng, Ellie, Alessandro, India and De-Winton) constructed a site model of Chorlton, out of recycled and off-cut materials, to suggest potential locations for of our design proposals. We’ve continued the colour coding from our timeline of implementation onto the model by abstractly constructing the proposed interventions in their corresponding colour. The strings represent the routes visitors can take to interact with the proposed interventions.

Our research and presentation has been designed to instigate conversations around meanwhile use in Chorlton and provide examples of how this could be integrated into the local area. All interventions have therefore been modelled as moveable objects so the model itself can be used as part of engagement activities in the future.
Posted 19 May 2023 14:41
Output: Final presentation
May 18th (Evening)

Our action weeks culminated in a presentation, held in Chorlton Central Church, and attended by local Chorlton councillors. The MArch team and De-Winton presented back our research and design proposals. We ended the event with a conversation around the model, using it to establish key areas for meanwhile use and discuss the current development plans for the precinct with the councillors present. It was an enlightening and engaging meeting, and felt positive to share our research with people who can make real difference in the local community.
Posted 19 May 2023 14:42