The UK’s largest social housing project, the Aylesbury Estate, is threatened with regeneration despite resident protest. In order to save the estate’s elderly Hour Glass Gang, the local pub is dematerialized and its site becomes the location of the new Aylesbury Underground, home to the Estate Elders, and hub of a new social structure. From here extend four Access Corridors, forming a physical axis of opportunity that sets the stage for ‘successful ageing.’ Preserved fragments of the old estate become monuments to the formerly marginalized population and also house special functions to benefit the residents.
This is a proposal for preservation through deconstruction. The dissection ceremony places the estate elderly in a position of esteem, enforcing their role in the community just when they are most likely to otherwise be displaced. By tearing down what is there, something can be saved to hold on to. Through its destruction, the old estate can be reborn as a powerful symbol of the past that becomes the main thoroughfare to the future.