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Declan Allison

The Vertical Village

In The Vertical Village, Londoners and Syrian refugees will live side by side in a meandering network of residential, communal and green spaces; allowing cultures, practices and religions to intertwine harmoniously.

Early birds will listen to the soft hum of hymns emanating from the Church as they tend to the allotment, parents will drop off their children at the nursery, before grabbing a coffee to go from the café; and the smell of freshly baked Borak will mix with that of pasties, rising from the bakery and through the arcade.

Common rooms will serve as open, malleable spaces for communities to adapt to their needs, whether that be a workshop, performance or living space. Greenery blossoms out of the timber framework to create communal gardens, where elders exchange stories and children wreak havoc.

On occasion, market stalls flood the arcade as shops spill into the streetscape. The resulting hybrid of an English market and Syrian souq immerses residents and visitors alike in a fog of marbled smells and busied sounds that rise up through the village. As men and women retire to their homes, children plead for five more minutes; sound tracked by Salat al-‘isha, pouring out from the Mosque.

Declan Allison