The Vision
In the midst of urban, grey Manchester we intend to create a community arts centre from low impact design techniques, fusing the vernacular with modern technologies.

The centre will serve as an organic, vibrant, urban centre of eco- arts activity, a social hub for the local community, creating local employment opportunities as well as being an innovative attraction for visitors. It will be a people friendly mixed-use development, which will promote the arts as a way to tackle environmental concerns acting as a catalyst to encourage eco-art projects and building up effective creative collaboration.

The proposed self- build eco art centre will be constructed using natural, sustainable resources with the least possible impact on the environment. The designs will incorporate the most innovative technologies and techniques of sustainable building methods including straw, rammed earth, recycled car tyres, aluminium cans, local woods and materials.

The buildings will be evocative to the senses creating stimulating, healthy and inspiring spaces and the local community will be involved in the whole process of the project from consultation to construction. Manchester organisations will contribute to the overall pattern of Powwow by creating as much as possible for the centre to create a huge living mosaic; from hand painted wine glasses for the bar, pottery designs for the restaurant through to the wooden beds in the accommodation.

The centre will be run on a not for profit commercial basis, with an emphasis on ethically sound, fair-trade and locally sourced materials, trades and products.

The main structures of the buildings will vary in form, design and materials used. As the centre aims to demonstrate the alternative means of environmentally sound building techniques, we will aim to include structures made from straw and lime cobbing, earthships (made from recycled car tyres, aluminuim cans and other recycled materials), wigwams and yurts and rammed earth technique. As we aim to create as little an impact on the environment as possible we will follow in the footsteps of HHP (Hockerton Housing Project) and endeavor to produce zero net CO2 emissions. We will work carefully with experts in the field and green architects for the most environmentally efficient forms of insulation, and energy saving measures. We will install passive and active solar power, wind power, black water sewage systems and rainwater collection means. We aim to plant trees for the wood we use in the build, we will plant reed beds and flower seeded roof gardens and prepare the land for as biodiversic a site as feasible.

Another key aim to the project is to create healthy and stimulating environments and interior quality to the individual buildings. Architecture that supports life and health is organic and simple. If we look to dwellings across the globe we can hear the beautiful sound resonance of Japanese bamboo floors as we step across them, we can smell the properties of certain woods and savour and appreciate unique shapes and structures. The aim is to create special atmospheres which act as inspiration to the activity for which the building is intended.

We are currently undergoing the feasibility aspects of this huge and ambitious project, and undergoing business planning and identifying land.