Free Space Workshop
A modular community construction project in the industrial hinterlands of Leeds
University Project | 2015
The space provides affordable facilities, work units, tools and advance machinery for all to use while aiming to bring life to a forgotten strip of waterside industry that has historically isolated neighbouring communities from Leeds city centre and, more recently become the unwitting host to the creeping gentrification of up-river, luxury housing developments.
Sitting on the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, the Freespace workshop is a civic venue for all manner of design and fabrication.
The Freespace Project aims to empower people to take ownership and responsibility for disused spaces in their local area. Inhabiting these vacant sites allows life to flourish in new use and activity, people and social circles that start to overlap as a result. By creating a space that is open and accessible to all, where invention is encouraged and skills developed, community as a whole benefits. The cycle of positive change, informed by new found autonomy, interdependence and communal resilience allows individuals access to the otherwise prohibitive, big-money process of urbanisation.
Space should be free for everyone