Nextminster

Name
Alice Haugh
Education degree
Master
School
School of Architecture
Study programme
Urbanism & Societal Change
Year
2017

 

Could federalism be the shift required to save the Union? What if, rather than reinforcing the hegemony enjoyed by the English at Westminster, powers repatriated from Brussels were redistributed more locally? Against the backdrop of an ongoing constitutional stand off between Westminster and Holyrood, Nextminster envisages a radical restructuring which fragments England along existing administrative boundaries, to produce, along with Scotland, Wales and a reunified Ireland, twelve region states, each closer to one another in population. If centralisation = elitism, then decentralisation = populism.

A new federal settlement has been established, with many democratic functions moving north to Manchester. What then to do with Westminster? The film hears a city planner reading from an imagined Compulsory Purchase Order which enforces the acquisition of
Echoing Henri Lefebvre, Winston Churchill said of Westminster, ‘We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.’ What effect might a more mundane enclosure have on the politics within?
House of Commons Rebuilding, Commons Debate 28th October 1943, Hansard vol. 393 cc403-73

Nextminster connects the different social, spatial and cultural layers of the city in attempt to give form to the relation between citizen and government. The EU referendum result prompts us to reflect on our own self-image as British citizens and as Europeans, and as such old imperial spaces of the city take on a new role in building a narrative around citizenship means today. Three layers of pre-existing network emerge - the old industrial canals, the disused railway arches and finally a digital platform which takes the form of a smartphone app.

Plan of Manchester & Salford: Capital of the North-West

In light of the expanded role of parliament necessitated by Brexit, the project fragments the institution of parliament, in both physical and experiential terms. The proposal is an experiment for the city, taking the form of a network of symbolic spaces. Some, like office and ministry spaces, should be absorbed by the city, whilst some, like debating chambers, should stand out as emblematic spaces. Therefore, an architectural language flexible enough to appear both mundane and symbolic is proposed. 

Nextminster programme booklet

In 2017-2019, KADK is working with the UN sustainable development goals
This is reflected in our research, teaching and the students’ projects. This project relates to the following UN goal(-s):
Reduced inequalities (10)
Peace, justice and strong institutions (16)