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  • Michael Mehaffy

A photo essay of Poundbury from 2005

Scholar Besim Hakim compiled the photos shortly after the completion of the first phase in the southeast corner of the 400-acre urban extension

ABOVE: Poundbury is the red outlined area west of Dorchester. Besim Hakim's photos were taken in the first phase in the lower right corner (dotted red line). Eighteen years later, the entire development is nearing completion.


We recently received a very nice series of photos from New Mexico architectural scholar Besim Hakim, showing Poundbury shortly after the completion of the first phase in 2005. He has documented a number of historic cities and their morphologies, including Sidi Bou Said in Tunisia (his excellent book documents its patterns). He has done other important work on building codes, including historic examples of Mediterranean codes going back over 1,000 years. As we contemplate new building code innovations and reforms, including form-based codes, it is important to see new projects in a larger context. It is also fascinating to see how settlements change over time, even the short span of several decades. Our thanks to Besim for this collection!


The last two decades have seen many more innovations at Poundbury, and the IMCL conference will provide an opportunity to study them in depth. But already in 2005, a number of key innovations were evident -- and some were not, including the 35% affordable housing that is indistinguishable from other homes.


Above, a typical back lane. (Image location #3 in key map below.)

Above, a shared-space lane, mainly for pedestrians. (Image location #4 in key map below.)

Above, a small parking space. Why do they need to be ugly? (Image location #10 in key map below.)

Above, two houses joined by a street wall. (Image location #13 in key map below.)

Above, a typical street -- narrow, and safe for pedestrians. (Image location #16 in key map below.)

Above, typically beautiful stonework on many homes. (Image location #17 in key map below.)

Above, another street view. (Image location #24 in key map below.)

Above, key map of the photos. The full set of photos is available on request.




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