FLY Silvertown Flyover
Creative Workspace Hub in Silvertown, Royal Docks
YOU&ME are working with the Greater London Authority and London Festival of Architecture on the regeneration and provision of new creative workspaces in and around the Silvertown flyover, Royal Docks in East London. . Y&M collaborated with 3Space, Greenlab and Mott Macdonald to overcome competition from 52 practices from around the world with the "Greenline Flyover Testbed" proposal. The design incorporates studio space for artists and other creative start-ups with communal leisure facilities and a "green lung": a biomediation testbed that uses green technology to reduce water and air pollution from the flyover which could be replicated to other flyover and highly polluted areas.
Alongside the horticultural and growing aspect, the scheme also provides a multitude of social spaces. An indoor market where Greenline products can be sold, retail and food spaces, as well as spaces for exercise and healthy living activities, such as skate park and green gym. A variety of office and studio spaces, from more basic open plan artist studios, workshop spaces and light industrial units to more front facing creative offices, studio spaces and meeting room facilities for start ups and young creative enterprises. Other public spaces include rentable flexi-event spaces, cinema and rehearsal spaces, shared kitched and meeting rooms, village hall and community creche.
The site sits on the boundary of residential, industrial, artists’ studios and more corporate developments near the Excel Centre. The scheme has an opportunity to bring these different demographics together to create a lively, creative and diverse social hub. This new sustainable development will be a green testbed, which can become part of East London’s Green Grid. The proposed programmes and uses will support the existing stakeholders and activities, as well as creating new employment opportunities for local residents and provides facilities which enhance the existing and the new developments coming soon to the area. There is a natural synergy with education play and economic development project - linking with the local community to introduce urban farming and sustainable environmental methods/systems. To address Newham Council’s high unemployment, low skills demographic, the scheme has potential for apprenticeship and training programmes within growing, gardening, construction and cooking. The artists’ studios could be an outpost for the nearby Building Craft College in Stratford to train up local residents so that they could learn the skills to work on many of the new developments being built in the area over the next 20yrs. More public facing programmes could be provided to support the adjacent Waterfront Studios and link to new Carlsberg Tetley local arts hub, as well as other corporate partners such as, amongst others, the adjacent Siemens Crystal, Excel Centre, future partners of the Millennium Mills Silvertown development and arts-based organisations, such as V&A EAST and Open School East.
This project will have a strong legacy aspect, as further phases (Caxton works, Silvertown Way and Carlsberg Tetley Building) could be linked with animated public realm interventions and clusters of creative workspaces. These could be extended further to the vacant spaces of the elevated DLR of North Woolwich Rd, improving connections and wayfinding to create a more human scale to the site which often feels vast and disconnected. Initially these would be tested within the site and then further expand and develop within 2, 5, 10yrs + of the project so that they can be adapted and fine-tuned as needed, focusing on affordable, sustainable, arts and creative uses.