Coronavirus has killed more than five million people worldwide and more than 140,000 in the UK.
Few of us have been left untouched by the pandemic. It has changed the way we live and challenged our attitudes and values.
It has accelerated the move to online retail, thereby rendering the physical megastructures of late 20th-century shopping redundant.
Covid has made us acutely aware of the importance of open space in our cities, to have space to socialise, of the benefits of biophilia and biodiversity, and of the need to engage with nature.
Few have been left untouched by the pandemic. It has changed the way we live
Our proposal reimagines redundant shopping centres as rewilded gardens of remembrance; places of retreat and calm within our towns and cities.
The transformation of these buildings will represent a new phase in our attitudes and values – a consumerist, self-centred culture will give way to a more reflective, more empathetic nature that places greater value on society, family and the planet.
These new structures will echo the ‘Magnificent Seven Cemeteries’ of Kensal Green, West Norwood, Abney Park, Highgate, Tower Hamlets, Nunhead and Brompton, built to meet the needs of London’s growing population but now tranquil, semi-wild spaces within the city.
The great design challenge: centre forward
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The great design challenge: Bell Phillips Architects