27 April - 29 May 2016
The Architecture Space
Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Friends of the RA go free
We present the results of an ideas competition which invited architects to come up with new and creative uses for London’s brownfield sites.
2015 saw London finally surpass its pre-war population peak. The metropolitan area of Greater London is now home to 8.6 million people, with little sign of the growth slowing down over the next few decades. As a result thoughts are turning to the suburbs or the Green Belt to help cope with London’s population increase. But even after the urban renaissance of the last thirty years, which revitalised the city centre – in part by redeveloping vast swathes of former industrial land – many brownfield sites still lie empty, unused and awaiting development.
This provides the basis for Urban Jigsaw – an ideas competition we launched in July 2015 which invited architects to develop speculative proposals for brownfield sites across London. We asked for ideas that were creative, imaginative, research-driven, and, ultimately, capable of realising the potential of these missing pieces of London's urban jigsaw.
In October 2015 we selected four teams to move forward. In November 2015 and March 2016 they will present their ideas to an expert panel at public "crits" before unveiling their work-up projects in April 2016 in a month-long exhibition.
Meet the architects
Hackney Kitchen by Atelier Kite
Atelier Kite have rethought the role of the domestic kitchen, proposing to reconfigure its position in relation to the home with twenty-first century systems of food retail, consumption and waste management. They envisage a shared facility – the "food palace" – to combine a range of kitchen spaces with that of a food market hall. It's a way of liberating people from bulky, underused "nuclear kitchens", creating this new typology would allow for the optimisation of resources and costs, enabling affordable living and a more sustainable urban food supply chain.
Well-Line by Chetwoods
The Well-Line would transform London’s longest brownfield site, the 6-mile long underground "Post Office Railway", transforming it into an automated logistics supply line, delivering goods from across the world into the heart of the capital. The Well-Line would take traffic off roads reducing congestion and could also carry data and waste along its two tunnels, generating energy. Valuable secondary heat would be created through shafts linked to ‘green generators’, incorporating heat pumps, pollution-filtering materials and thermal chimneys, and harvesting wind, water and sunlight. The Wells – existing, re-opened and new access points connecting the Well-Line with the surface – would become environmentally sustainable social and commercial spaces to reinvigorate their neighbourhoods.
Make: Good Waterloo by Alma-nac
Alma-nac propose to create a network of locations for artists, makers and crafts people to practice and teach in Waterloo. The resulting network will link with local institutions and increase the density of occupancy in existing buildings. They have explored three tactics to achieve the above. Urban dentistry: the use of leftover otherwise undeveloped pockets of land to create a network of small spaces. Local Authorities: working with local authorities to identify potential sites already owned by the borough that could be enlivened by the incorporation of spaces for craft and making. Policy: reviewing and amending policy that encourages new buildings to include these spaces, visually distinct from the main building to create a network of varied spaces.
Future Justice by Maccreanor Lavington and East
In 2015, a proposal was put forward to close underused courts and relocate caseloads to either existing courts or integrate them into other civic/public buildings, with the potential to affect 20% of court buildings nationwide. Future Justice focuses on the potential to redevelop courthouses earmarked for closure and return them to the purpose for which they were originally intended – a civic asset at the heart of the community. With Future Justice, there is an opportunity to contribute to a new urban fabric where the eventual end-user will want to live or work, achieving this through attention not only to materials and detailing, but to careful integration of public space.