Located in the Isle of Man, Cohesion is the new UK’s capital city, a speculative driver and investigative model by Eric Wong to cultivate accessibility, green sustainability and compassion.
In the past century, countries have considered the relocation of their capitals and more than 200 capital cities have since emerged. They have either decided to move their capitals away from primary cities to secondary cities to separate and better serve their required functions, or have constructed entirely new cities from scratch. In a number of circumstances, the relocation of a capital was part of a necessary transition for new nation states and even the emergence of whole cultures.
‘Cohesion’, the new capital city of the United Kingdom is located at the centre of the British Isles – the Isle of Man. Relocating Britain’s capital may appear totally fanciful and farfetched, however, such a move has been considered in the past to the regions of Lancashire and York, a more geographic centre. With London being an unusual capital of both government and commerce compared to most major economies, a separation of the two may seem desirable when compared to the few cities with a single capital – France and Russia are models of over-centralisation and the Japanese government has been considering a relocation from Tokyo for some time.
Similarly, geographical separation from the city and its financers could provide a different light and outlook on the United Kingdom from a non-London perspective. The relocation would at foremost, see a radical geographical redistribution of wealth and eased pressures on London’s transport and housing market.
“Accessibility”, “Green Sustainability” and “Compassion” aims to place a forward looking lens on some of these problems. Accessibility relates to the geographical relocation of the country’s capital and how this has the potential to alter the counterbalance in the country. Green Sustainability refers to the architectonic interventions within the proposed new capital which aims to provide energy, clean water, food and shelter sustainably. Compassion speculates on the duty and role of a renewed United Kingdom to provide for the refugee crisis and disenfranchised generation. The proposal does not seek to find a solution to current issues, but it aims to speculate on an alternative and questions the “what if” scenario. The city Cohesion does however nonetheless posits itself as a forward looking model of confidence, solidarity and cohesion.
Cohesion: the blueprint for a United Kingdom Architect: Eric Wong
Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL Year: