UKHQ by Gemma Douglas

At the Royal College of Art Show Two last month, architecture graduate Gemma Douglas presented her conceptual design for a combined Ministry of Defence headquarters and integration centre for citizens arriving in the UK.

ukhq-by-gemma-douglas-model_gd.jpg

Using imagery derived from needlepoint and heraldry, which Douglas feels represent ideas of Britishness, the building is designed for a fictional new state called Albion in the Thames estuary.

ukhq-by-gemma-douglas-section.jpg

Here's an explanation from Douglas:

--

UKHQ

Less than half the population of Britain consider themselves British (YouGov poll, 2007)

How can the British town hall, the apparent public face of a community, be updated to reflect a society in constant flux, with a tendency for nostalgic perception of a bygone era?

ukhq-by-gemma-douglas-elevation.jpg

Albion Town Hall is reinvented as a Home Office Department of Britishness and secure immigrant accommodation, to act as the headquarters of a region with displaced populations of soldiers, relocated civil servants and potential new British citizens, and to nurture growth of identity in a new town.

ukhq-by-gemma-douglas-aerial-view.jpg

Village greens become secure landscaping, acting as a buffer between industrial and residential areas.

ukhq-by-gemma-douglas-entrance.jpg

Can architecture help ensure our cultural survival? A British embassy in Britain explores the ambiguity and fluidity of Britishness, as a first port of call for new citizens arriving in the UK, alongside a relocated Ministry of Defence Heaquarters.

ukhq-by-gemma-douglas-roof.jpg

Cross stitch, heraldry, and the picturesque appear as reinvented symbols of our national heritage and form a seemingly benign landscape simultaneously nurturing and securing new citizens and a central government department encouraging assimilation and integration.

ukhq-by-gemma-douglas-landscape.jpg