> The New English Rural


> Location: Rural UK
> Issue: Future of Countryside


Team Members:

Laura A Keay

The New English Rural is essentially the development of a code for living that proposes new and/or refined approaches to how we might construct a rural architecture, and how we might reuse and repair.

Applied to a somewhat counter-intuitive testbed site to what we might judge to be rural- a brownfield site struggling both socially and economically. The paradigm is implemented through the production and construction of a series of catalysts, exploring whether a development that draws on local rural resources could aid in reducing the deprivation of Rochester. Whilst also demonstrating that the proposal of rural architecture may not necessarily evolve from an existing rural community. The main outcome of these catalysts is to deal with the issues of unemployment, a lack of education and reduced: overall exploring whether a rural life can contribute to an urban community’s well-being and future development?

The catalysts encompass the ethos of the New English Rural: programmatically and in constructional terms, adhering to 3 changes of attitude:

Nothing Goes to Waste,

Appreciation of our Surroundings, 

Seasonally Bound.

The New English Rural is not proposing anything new, rather it is looking back at the past whilst also the future to understand what we need for today. This new constructional paradigm is focused on tackling the reuse of waste in an integrated approach, and marks each site’s idiosyncrasies, enabling support of sustainable local development whilst preserving the cultural heritage of construction knowledge inherent to its region. Despite only being applied to the testbed site in Rochester, the collective ethos can be applied further afield. Highlighting that the New English Rural will give rise to slightly different Rurals: as there is no single vantage point from which the whole panoply or rural can be seen, creating diverse rural developments across the United Kingdom.