Emily Hinchliffe


Investigating the potential of pedestrian high streets in Freetown

This project is based in Freetown, Sierra Leone and proposes a new pedestrian high street

on the Samba gutter. The Samba gutter is a manmade brick drain that runs the length of

Christchurch and is a focal point of the area running perpendicular to the comb road layout

of the area. This project will explore the possibilities of opening up the access to the gutter

by exploring the ideas of public domain and community action

in the area. Through studying key clients and demographics, the project proposes how these

groups will use the new area through several different community spaces that actively

contribute to the existing businesses or institutions on the gutter.

The whole project is focused around increasing the use of timber in construction both

because of its carbon neutrality and the benefits to the hot, humid climate. The local creole

board houses, built in the 18th century, are a prime example of how tall rooms, natural

ventilation and light timber frame can increase the air flow through the property. The project

will set a precedent for timber construction, which is typically used for furniture and bespoke

joinery, and display that in Freetown city centre timber is a viable and suitable option for

construction. These different proposals are well ventilated, straight forward designs that can

be transferable to other sites and projects.