The site is located in Mid Sussex in a periurban area between Crawley, Pease Pottage, Balcombe and Cuckfield. Like the district, it is mostly used for arable agriculture and livestock, hence it has a patchwork-like appearance. The region faces housing challenges, and with a growing population, there will be an urge to increase agricultural produce. The region holds human settlements, wildlife habitats and farmland due to the abundant grassland. The inevitable growth of human settlements will threaten the available wildlife habitats so it is necessary to propose an intervention that promotes harmonious coexistence of the contesting forces of human settlements, habitats and agriculture.
A potential solution is one that breaks down the boundaries between these territories to encourage multiple areas of co-operation and symbiotic relationships. This can be achieved by breaking down the areas they occupy into fragments and rearranging them similar to the area’s land use but at smaller scales. To make this viable, my approach within the studio framework is to identify parts of the site with a diverse range of conditions such as geological, water availability and biodiversity distribution. This will propose a site with the potential to provide accommodation, land suitable for farming foster wildlife habitats. To lessen the urge for settlement expansion, a system of movable and adjustable structures can be incorporated into the architecture, enabling them to evolve as demand on different services and types of spaces inevitably changes.
In this exercise I identified an area of the site where natural formations and forces combine to create a site with a diverse range of features relevant to human settlement, agriculture and wildlife. The various intersections and relationships provide a foundation for my case within the studio framework.
Exploration of a typical residential relationship between a house and the hedge that surrounds it. The human and habitat areas are closely linked and representing open space as solid shows this.
Exploration of the potential for hedges and tree lines to be further developed as routes for wildlife with the added arrangement in order to exaggerate the distance between territories.
As an exercise to test potential interventions informed by my findings. I pixelated the area centred around Staplefield Common. The pixels are categorised between agriculture, settlement and habitats. Starting with an arrangement representative of the existing site I proceeded to adjust its elements.