Brand & Website
May 10, 2022
Mitigating the Death of the Multi

Mitigating the death of the Multi: An Investigation into a better alternative to demolition through the vehicle of an architectural retrofit intervention into Dundee’s Hilltown Multi’s.

The Multi as a housing typology is a dying breed, and this is particularly evident within Dundee. The city has changed dramatically as these Multi’s have risen and fallen between 1960 and 2022. There once stood 44 high rise blocks scattered across the city, now only 11 remain standing. Sitting Prominent within Dundee’s landscape, an upgrade to these blocks would be an upgrade to the wider city.

The ambition of the intervention retains the existing DNA of the Hilltown Multi’s but revisits the Corbusian principles of the vertical neighbourhood and upgrades the blocks for contemporary living through the provision of diverse flat types and community programmes. All with a focus on building performance, leading to an environmentally & socially sustainable typology.

This intervention sought to reintegrate the Hilltown Multi's back into society by reclaiming the dormant ground floor space and propose communal programs, such as a café/bar, retail, and entertainment, which are accessible to both residents and the wider Hilltown community. This will contribute to the health of the vertical neighbourhood and generate income to subsidize council maintenance costs.

The design of the intervention uses a free plan and a lightweight secondary timber framed structure to divide the communal programs, while retaining the existing concrete columns as the primary structure. This allows for ease of future adaptability and mitigates the need for demolition. The existing circulation areas within the Hilltown Multi's are tight, dark, and deteriorating, leading to a lack of social interaction and security concerns. This intervention celebrates the vertical neighbourhood by introducing a "spinal" circulation area that provides light, fresh air, and improved circulation, while creating opportunities for social interaction and community building.

Royal Scottish Academy Nominated
New Contemporaries Exhibition 2024 - The Mound, Edinburgh.

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