Housing Ourselves

Eugene Sinclair

Project description

Contemporary urban housing faces multiple crises including affordability, ownership, sustainability and diversity. Current mainstream procurement and delivery models of housing should be questioned in favour of alternative, more equitable processes. 

The title of this project, Housing Ourselves, originates from the Colombian housing campaigner José Ospina. Ospina asserts that for community-led housing, there is a “need for a nurturing framework”.  This thesis proposes a new construction and funding framework for a community self-build housing development. It is tested in the dockland site of Trinity Buoy Wharf in the Thames Waterfront in Tower Hamlets, offering a counterpoint to the speculative commercial developments of the neighbouring site.

The project is a prototype, where a Community Land Trust is formed. Taking cues from Walter Segal and more recent  Rural Urban Synthesis Society (RUSS), the building design brings the structural system up-to-date by using sustainably sourced timber panels and connections that the self-builders can easily assemble and adapt.

Site location
Tower Hamlets

Eugene Sinclair

Self-Built Table and Models

Eugene Sinclair

Trinity Self-Build Group Hub

Eugene Sinclair

Entrance to Guest Rooms and Shared Laundry

Eugene Sinclair

Communal Living Room in Construction

Eugene Sinclair

Typical Plan - Proposed

Originally from Leeds, Eugene completed his undergraduate studies at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) at the University of Edinburgh before the LSA. As part of his integrated placement period at ESALA, Eugene worked at Sauerbruch Hutton Architects in Berlin, where he was able to work on a number of civic and housing competitions and projects.

During his time at the LSA, Eugene worked at Pedder and Scampton Architects, a practice specialising in architecture for neurodiversity. Eugene’s thesis project comes from an interest in – and background participation within the fields of community-led housing, craft and protest movements.