Excavating Holloway: Towards a Feminist City

Beth Allen

Project description

Excavating Holloway: Towards a Feminist City reimagines the site of the former Holloway Women’s Prison in Islington as an example of a Feminist City prototype. The project aims to reshape the charged physical remains of the site using a design method of abstraction of memory leading to restorative justice. 

The project themes are grounded in an imagined excavation of the existing prison into an inclusive place to live, centred around its marginalised inhabitants. 

The Feminist City is conceived as a tangible re-stitching of space. The act of stitching is used to reflect the theme of introspective carving within the project, where the interpretation process in the embroidery is as significant as the act of pressing the needle through the fabric.

The project attempts a conscious reflection of the past in a highly charged site through a literal and metaphorical re-stitching of space.

Site location

Beth Allen

A textile working method

Beth Allen

A Textile Elevation Tapestry

Beth Allen

Deck access view: the extension of the home

Beth Allen

Excavating Holloway: A Shared Home

Beth Allen

Holloway: A vision for a Feminist City

Beth is interested in the connection between design and memory. Her work explores this theme through linking the relationships between the history, the community and individual journeys on the site; past, present and future. 

Her thesis project looked at a re-imagining of the site of the former Holloway Women’s Prison, Islington. Through an abstraction of memory, the project aimed to re-shape the charged physical remains, into a Feminist City, in a way that is restorative justice through design.

Her work plays with the use of textiles within architectural representation, embodying the themes of slow, thoughtful and introspective design through a re-stitching of place.