The #GC2022 finalists are out! Read more.

search
×
menu
login
donate
Granby Four Streets
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Written by:
follow
share on:mail linkcopy link to clipboardShare via LinkedInShare via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via Facebook
The Granby Four Streets are a cluster of terraced houses in Toxt

image: Assemble | © all rights reserved
i
Category:
housing
Phase:
under construction
Updated:
5 November 2015
introduction

The BBC called it “the streets that refuse to die”, The Guardian newspaper “The Liverpool locals who took control of their long-neglected streets” and The Independent newspaper celebrates how the project of Granby Four Streets have received a nomination for the Turner Prize (one of the most proclaimed art awards in the UK) for their community regeneration project lead by the studio Assemble.

The Granby Four Streets are a cluster of terraced houses in Toxteth, Liverpool that were built around 1900 to house artisan workers. Following the Toxteth riots in 1981, the council acquired many of the houses in the area for demolition and redevelopment. Hundreds of people were moved out of the area and houses subsequently fell into disrepair. Nevertheless there had always been a strong sense of community through the riots, before them and afterwards.6

People built this community back in the 60´s and 70´s, different circumstances led to a decline in the city of Liverpool that affected many of its areas. Toxteth was one of the worst after the 80´s riots when most people left; today, it is the people again who are rebuilding this place: a small group of organized residents who decided to take matters into their own hands. Their actions have started to make a positive effect that has now become a phoenix bird flooding life once again back to their streets. 5

After several decades of top to bottom approaches from the government to regenerate the area it was a bottom -up approach what made the difference. Local residents started planting flowers via a guerrilla gardening, cleaning their streets, painting empty houses. They organized a monthly market selling cakes, vintage clothes and Caribbean food.

In 2011 they formed a Community Land Trust CLT and attracted funding from investors and later on teamed up with the young London architecture collective Assemble to help them design their vision : “to create a thriving, vibrant mixed community, building on its existing creativity, energy and commitment, where people from all walks of life can live, work and play.” 3

It is clear that the protagonists of this story are the residents who stayed in the area, fighting against demolition and failed government strategies to rebuild it. What this residents showed it’s that community engagement and leadership are crucial when managing the impact of decline on built environments. Policy makers need to ensure that local authorities and neighbourhood leaders are given the responsibilities and resources needed to deliver change.

Strategies should focus on delivering the best outcomes for People as the US academic, Ed Glaeser, has previously argued, “the starting point for any serious urban policy is to recognise that the government’s objective should be to enrich and empower the lives of people, no matter where they live”.

cultural and social context

Social Context

Granby has a very unique cultural and social background. It has the oldest black community in Britain and has also been one of the most deprived communities in the UK for decades. Thirty years ago it used to be a busy street with diverse businesses thriving. Post- war demolitions affected the North end of Granby, several Victorian terraces where replaced with modern homes. By the mid-70s the area started to decline as unemployment increased.

Unemployment, segregation and demolition finally paid its price and riots emerged in 1981, life in Granby became unbearable. Most shops went out of business, empty houses began to appear and the negative perception of the area became a vicious circle. 8

Cultural Context

Currently, the project has been nominated for the Turner Prize, the area has gained a very different attention from that of 1981. The project done by the studio Assemble with the hard work of the CLT has now become a lighthouse for the whole of Granby. It is incredible that the heroic efforts of the individuals to make a difference in the quality of life of Granby have been rewarded with this nomination.

It is remarkable how much attention community building is creating. As the director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art said: “This is what’s happening,” he said. “It is working away from art as entertainment. These are artists working in very specific circumstances to make something happen, to make something change. It’s very positive for the future of art – they are trying to do something rather than just represent something.” 4

This is the magic that Assemble has contributed to Granby, it is art that is addressing real situations with real interventions. As Hudson also describes them: “This is collective activity working in society.” 4

materials and building techniques

Granby is offering apprenticeships and jobs for local people, where unemployment is a major concern, especially among young people. The CLT is properly looking to rebuild the community with the community, boosting local economy while offering its residents to shape the area´s development.

The project offers training opportunities for young locals and who wish to learn vocational building and construction skills. The young people are mentored by local professional tradespeople and supported in working towards achieving a City & Guilds qualification over the course of the project. 6

earth and climate

Liverpool experiences a temperate maritime climate, with relatively cool summers and mild winters. 7

image gallery
One of the streets in Toxteth redeveloped by the Granby Four Streets community land trust.

image: Lewis Jones/Assemble | © all rights reserved
i
Assemble’s proposed winter garden for a gutted house on Ducie Street in Toxteth.

image: Assemble | © all rights reserved
i
Relentless rows of boarded-up windows ... school children outside a house in Toxteth, Liverpool.

image: Gary Calton | © all rights reserved
i
Street art promoting to play in the streets.

image: Granby 4 street | © all rights reserved
i
Inside one of the boarded-up houses in Toxteth

image: Assemble | © all rights reserved
i
Inside one of the boarded-up houses in Toxteth.

image: Assemble | © all rights reserved
i
Gardening guerrilla was one of the first strategies to bring Granby back to life.

image: Granby 4 street | © all rights reserved
i
An axonometric view of the Granby Four Streets project. Toxteth residents had consistently fought government plans for demolition

image: Assemble | © all rights reserved
i
Sketch of one house

image: Granby 4 streets | © all rights reserved
i
Section Sketch

image: Granby 4 streets | © all rights reserved
i
Interior image of one bedroom

image: Granby 4 streets | © all rights reserved
i
external links
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Location
show earth plate boundarieshide earth plate boundaries
Explore more inspirations
Keyword:
community (140)
case study (15)
community practice (113)
empowerment (70)
urban renewal (20)
prev
  •  meeting place
    Naidi Community Hall
    Naidi Village, Fiji
  •  housing
    Edifício São Vito
    São Paulo, Brazil
  • play
     infrastructure
    Using Waste to Manage Waste
    Sangti, India
  •  meeting place
    Tiuna El Fuerte
    Caracas, Venezuela
  • play
     meeting place
    Matta Sur heritage and community center
    Santiago, Chile
  •  emergency shelter
    Low-cost modular housing scheme
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  •  housing
    JINTAI VILLAGE RECONSTRUCTION
    JINTAI, China
  •  education
    A school for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, once was a pavilion in an International expo in Italy.
    Al-Marj, Bekaa, Lebanon
  •  housing
    boat houses
    Ine, Kyoto, Japan
  •  education
    Community Learning Centre in Pasman Tol
    Pasman Tol, Nepal
  •  housing
    Project Suitcase - Manchenahalli
    Rayanakkalu village, Manchenahalli Gram Panchayat, India
  •  education
    Khaanabadosh
    Ajmer, India
  •  meeting place
    Pondok Tagal
    Kampung Maligan, Malaysia
  •  health & sanitation
    Warka Village Cameroon
    Cameroon
  •  emergency shelter
    Catenarius
    Paraguay
  •  education
    P'Yan School Project
    Mae Sot, Thailand
  • GC2021 finalist
     meeting place
    Community Kickstarter: Ger District Viewing Deck
    Mongolia
  •  urban planning
    The High Line
    New York, U.S.A.
  •  education
    Adharshila School Extension Project
    Agara Village, Sheopur District, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • play
     education
    Hilltop School
    Hyderabad, India
  •  housing
    La Passerelle, France
    Seine Saint-Denis, France
  •  infrastructure
    Community School in Darmang, Ghana
    Damang, Ghana
  •  housing
    A new Community House for Bai Giua
    Hanoi, Vietnam
  •  education
    Njoro Children's Library
    Mailisita, Kilimanjaro , Tanzania
  •  meeting place
    Community Learning Center Corralones
    Sacaba, Bolivia
  •  housing
    Yurt / Ger
    Mongolia
  •  housing
    Community led housing design in Munting Nayon
    Muntinlupa City, Philippines
  •  infrastructure
    Community toilets for SPARC
    mumbai, India
  •  education
    Impact Pavilion Ibadan: Connect, Learn, Thrive
    Alaka Community, Ojoo, Ibadan, Nigeria
  •  meeting place
    “Sorbole” - Urban garden’s equipment
    Seville, Spain
  •  meeting place
    Liyuan Library
    Jiao jie he (交界河村), China
  •  meeting place
    Multipurpose Room COVEMV
    Morelia, Mexico
  •  meeting place
    Old Market Library
    Bangkok, Thailand
  •  education
    Children's Centre XEWA SOWE
    Village of Sowé (Glazoué), Benin
  •  work & business
    Community Development Centre at Mystic Village
    Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh, India
  •  meeting place
    Indian Coffee House
    Thampanoor, India
  •  health & sanitation
    Ruku Kucho Center for the Elderly
    Ecuador
  • play
     education
    Healing Spaces for Children of War Zones
    Damascus, Syria
  •  meeting place
    Centro de Acçao Social por Música
    São Paulo, Brazil
  • play
    GC2022 finalist
     meeting place
    San Blas Social Action Center
    Caracas, Venezuela
  •  education
    Thnouh School
    Takeo, Cambodia
  •  education
    Muping Village School
    Guizhou, China
  •  housing
    Casa Rosales
    Tlalnepantla Morelos, Mexico
  •  education
    Transforming Learning Spaces in Rwanda
    Muhanga, Rwanda
  •  housing
    Torre de David
    Caracas, Venezuela
  •  education
    Hwange Technical College
    Hwange, Zimbabwe
  •  meeting place
    Old Vicarage Youth Centre
    Bradford, United Kingdom
  •  work & business
    Beehive Technology and Enterprise Park
    Chilomoni, Blantyre, Malawi
  • play
     meeting place
    Sunzu Village Community Center
    Burera, Rwanda
  • GC2021 finalist
     education
    Rebuilding the Haadibadi Community library
    Bengaluru City, India
  •  urban planning
    De Ceuvel
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
  •  education
    Silindokuhle Preschool
    Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  •  education
    Siddhartha Primary School
    Bimire village, Nepal
  •  meeting place
    Generating Resilience
    Majuli, India
  •  religion & memorial
    Tógu nà
    Dogon, Mali
  •  emergency shelter
    Single Mothers Association of Kariokor (SMAK)
    Nairobi, Kenya
  •  recreation & sport
    Olive Grove Open Air cinema
    Moria, Lesvos, Greece
  • GC2021 finalist
     education
    A School Built By the People, For The People
    Jorhat, India
  • play
     education
    Mallki Wasi - Education for the Amazon guardians
    Kosñipata, Peru
  •  housing
    Floating dwellings
    Dong Nai, Vietnam
  •  education
    Motherwell Community and Enviro Hub
    Gqeberha, South Africa
  •  meeting place
    open architecture
    Tokyo, Japan
  •  housing
    Fujian Tulou
    Fujian, China
  •  education
    Jubilant Tree School
    Moshi, Tanzania
  •  meeting place
    Pol houses (residential cluster)
    Ahmedabad, India
  •  recreation & sport
    Community center in eco community in mountains
    Kosiv, Ukraine
  •  recreation & sport
    sport clubhouse Kalobeyei, Kenya
    Kalobeyei, Kenya
  • play
     recreation & sport
    Plot ABC - phase 2
    Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
  •  meeting place
    El Tr3bol de Ciudad de Cali
    Bogotá, Colombia
  • play
     health & sanitation
    Kamuna agricultural rehabilitation centre
    Kamuna, Cankuzo, Burundi
  •  housing
    Batak Toba Houses
    Lake Toba, Indonesia
  •  recreation & sport
    Kimisagara Community Centre
    Kimisagara, Rwanda
  •  education
    JAHMAZING Bamboo Lab
    Marley Coffee Farm, Blue Mountains, Jamaica
  •  health & sanitation
    Butaro hospital
    Burera, Rwanda
  •  recreation & sport
    M&M Marketplace Enhancement Project - Plaza
    Hillsboro, U.S.A.
  • GC2022 finalist
     housing
    KuNa, Construyendo Sueños
    El Astillero, Tola, Nicaragua
  •  housing
    Palafitos
    Castro, Chile
  •  agriculture & fisheries
    Community Greenhouse
    Quito, Ecuador
  •  meeting place
    Chamanga Cultural Center
    Chamanga, Ecuador
  •  housing
    HATHIGAON - Housing for Mahouts and their Elephants
    Jaipur, India
  •  education
    Collective School in Fansirà Corò
    Yelekebougou, Mali
  •  health & sanitation
    Rwinkwavu Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
    Kayonza District, Rwanda
  •  meeting place
    El Pinto. equity through collective empowerment
    Querétaro, Mexico
  •  meeting place
    El Faro de Mapasingue
    Guayaquil , Ecuador
  •  housing
    Eden Bio
    Paris, France
  •  housing
    Rural Housing Development Program
    Chitrawad, Gujarat, India
  • play
    GC2021 finalist
     education
    Taller Tropical Moravia 2.0
    Medellín, Colombia
  •  meeting place
    Kazi na Bobo - community shop built with plastic bottles
    Msitu wa Tembo, Tanzania
  •  education
    PLAYSCAPE
    Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
  • play
     religion & memorial
    Iglesia de Coquí
    Coquí, Chocó, Colombia
  • GC2022 finalist
     housing
    Mini-Cyclone Shelter for Vulnerable Communities.
    Bhola, Bangladesh
  •  housing
    Project Chacras; Pop up Productive Housing
    Arenillas, Ecuador
  •  education
    FAVA School for Individuals with Autism
    Caracas, Venezuela
  •  work & business
    Sembalun Bamboo Youth Development Centre
    Lombok, Indonesia
  •  education
    El jardin de Adele
    Encañada, Peru
  • play
     work & business
    Transforming Puffed Rice Making MicroBusiness Unit
    Dharwad, India
  •  housing
    Kampung Kali Chode, Yogyakarta
    Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • play
     meeting place
    StadtGoesFuture-Culthäusle
    Filderstadt-Plattenhardt, Germany
  •  housing
    Ruca Dwellings
    Huechuraba, Chile
  •  health & sanitation
    Hammam Khist-i-Kopruk
    Kholm, Balkh province, Afghanistan
  •  housing
    OA Bamboo House
    Various locations, Malaysia
  •  urban planning
    A Corridor for People
    Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  •  housing
    Tulou Collective Housing
    Nanhai, Guangdong, China
  •  housing
    Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative
    Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
  •  education
    Initiative Rising Star - school buildings for Hopley, Zimbabwe
    Harare, Zimbabwe
  •  meeting place
    Farmers' Innovation Center (BLF)
    Angangba (Nagaland), India
  •  housing
    CODEC - Affordable Resilient Housing Program
    Chitalmari Upazila, Bangladesh
  •  meeting place
    BE friendly space
    Mao Khe, Vietnam
  •  meeting place
    Iche_Food for thought: a hub for glocal innovation
    San Vicente, Ecuador
  •  urban planning
    The (Picard)Street as key space for Transition
    Brussels, Belgium
  •  meeting place
    LOCAL COMUNITARIO A.F. 10 DE JULIO
    LIMA, Peru
  • play
     education
    Community Center for Indigenous music/ environment
    Tuba, Philippines
  •  meeting place
    Community Center
    Oudong, Cambodia
  •  education
    Playgrounds for Refugees as emergency response
    Bar Elias, Lebanon
  •  meeting place
    Tulou renovation
    Longyan City, Fujian, China
  • play
     meeting place
    Casa Comunal de la Isla de Portete / Ecuador.
    Portete, Ecuador
  •  housing
    Mousgoum dwellings
    Pouss, Cameroon
  • play
    GC2022 finalist
     education
    KAKR BULUH AWAR
    Deli Serdang, Indonesia
  • play
     urban planning
    Let's co-create our city: Jhenaidah
    Jhenaidah, Bangladesh
  •  health & sanitation
    The Rain and the Umbrellas
    Bekasi Regency, Indonesia
  •  education
    Okana center for change
    Okana, Kenya
  •  emergency shelter
    Arts and Trades Workshop "La Perseverancia"
    Jojutla, Morelos, Mexico
  •  education
    Training Center for Mae Tao Clinic
    Mae Sot, Thailand
  •  education
    Polyvalent Cultural Center in Senegal
    Tanaff, Senegal
  •  health & sanitation
    Better Bhalswa
    Delhi, India
  • play
     housing
    Orphanage for former streetboys
    Nairobi, Kenya
  •  health & sanitation
    Hygiene Station for Cattlefield Village School
    Yunnan, China
  •  meeting place
    BES Pavilion
    Ha Tinh city, Vietnam
  •  health & sanitation
    Kapuna Hospital
    Kapuna, Papua New Guinea
  • play
     meeting place
    Trichy Commons Network
    Trichy, India
  • play
    GC2022 finalist
     education
    The Baitussalam School
    Jacobabad, Pakistan
  •  religion & memorial
    Bamboo chapels
    Jama, Ecuador
  • play
     health & sanitation
    KINATCO Community Centre Project : PHASE II
    Mathare 3A Slums, Nairobi, Kenya
  •  meeting place
    Casa De La Cultura, Arte y Paz, Jacobo Arenas
    San José del Guaviare, Colombia
  • play
     education
    SSPD Slum School
    Lahore , Pakistan
  • GC2022 finalist
     meeting place
    Barrios que Cuidan
    Independencia - Lima, Peru
  •  housing
    RE:Ukraine housing. Pilot project
    Vorzel, Ukraine
  •  housing
    Le Village Noir
    Gatlang, Nepal
  •  meeting place
    THE SHIP WALL OF ANIMAS
    Havana, Cuba
  •  urban planning
    Re-imagining tea carts in Calicut, India
    Calicut, India
next