My site is based in Shoreditch, in the shadow of the City of London. I have inherited the structure of an existing multi-story concrete frame car park that sits on an island surrounded by busy roads. An important aspect of the studio agenda is reuse, and how the utility of a large structural frame can be altered for many years to come to suit a new purpose, without the need to be demolished.
My building will host a creative educational use, namely a school of furniture making. This provides something that is otherwise lacking in the area, as currently, the building uses in the area are mainly commercial and restaurants/pubs.
Shoreditch became home to London’s furniture trade during the Industrial Revolution. Many of the warehouses from this time remain, and many of these are being renovated to suit a new purpose. With my proposal I hope to minimise the negative effects of gentrification in the area and hope to engage the community, making a space accessible for all in some form. This should help to draw people to this area from a creative background and to restore Shoreditch to the creative hub that it once was.
My design concept is based on the idea of a still life painting with different volumes contributing to create a city within a city and to help to break up the relentless horizontality of the existing car park. The ground floor is very open and contributes to the public realm, the rest of the floors in the existing frame are then used as workshop spaces. At the top, these floors turn into a flexible auditorium space. My circular building hosts the use of a gallery showcasing furniture with a library at the top. The square building is then used as rentable studio spaces for small creative businesses. The focal point of my building is a large materials library that sits across 5 floors and is extremely visible throughout the inside and outside of my proposal.
How do you humanise a space designed purely for cars?