CSM Making Silvertown
BA Architecture Unit, Central Saint Martin's UAL
“So we have come to the outside of our Factory of the future and seen that it does not injure the beauty of the world, but adds to it rather….. To begin with such a factory will surely be a centre of education”
A Factory As It Might Be, William Morris 1884
How can making and industrial processes become an integral part of a community to generate beautiful and extrovert architecture, a place for working, learning, living? What if a place of production was openend up to create new public spaces, a place that encourages collaboration, exchange and cross communication between different demographics? Set in the East London Docklans, Studio 1 explores making, low-tech and hi-tech industries, testbeds and museology as urban regeneration tools and identity-generating catalysts.
Once the busiest working docks in the world, their character has been shaped by the architecture and vast waterworks infrastructures of their trading past. The extensive waterfront makes this area so unique and exciting, yet disconnected, with no perceived centre. How can our design proposals start to stitch and connect these disparate elements? Dominating the local landscape lies the derelict Art Deco Millenium Mills, designated for a GLA redevelopment as a 'centre for start up business'. Part of a future £3.5billion mixed-use masterpan, the new development is being branded by developers as an "'Atelier' on a grad scale, creating a place where people who make things show and share them". Taking inspiration from the Docklands' rich industrial history and vernaculr, its local and future communities and exploring themes of fabrication, ornamentation, curation and display, the students' proposals seeked to reactivate the Docks. The Studio worked at 3 scales: a TINY 'crafted' public realm intervention, a BIG masterplan and a SMALL to MEDIUM project which zooms in at a building scale. The proposals are played out across the site within new imagined masterplan contexts: some are small scale interventions within existing communities whilst others propose radical infrastructures on and around the waterfront.