Industrious High Street

Traditional dichotomies of building-use patterns are becoming increasingly conflated in parts of Stoke-on-Trent.

A three mile stretch A5271 connects Longport to Tunstall, much as it has done since 1763. Development in the respective settlements grew primarily following a nuclear, but also a linear pattern. The latter takes the form of terraced housing, shops (mostly former shops) and mid-century suburbia connecting the settlements. However, this development never quite connected the two. Historic employment opportunities were mostly within the settlements.

A spate of development within the past five years has seen both the separation of the settlements blurred, and a broadening of use classes along the street. Development has predominantly taken the form of vast sheds, typical of an industrial estate, yet immediately adjacent to pre-existing housing. The high street has therefore become more diverse in function, and the immediate morphology more dense.

The adjacency of housing with distribution warehouses and showrooms appear contrary; aside from employment opportunities, there is little interrelation between the two typologies. How can the industrial estate be successfully merged with suburbia? How can the two typologies collectively support the notion of a high street?  Can the infill of industrial sheds form a place-specific condition which defines an arrival and departure from one settlement to the next?

 The industrial condition

The industrial condition

 The suburban condition

The suburban condition

 Industrial infill 

Industrial infill