Archive for the '00_Projects' Category

Silicon Roundabout’s ‘Start-up City’

September 28, 2011

Silicon Roundabout (Old Street, London)

London-based design practice 00:/ ∫(‘zero zero’), in partnership with Space Station, have published proposals for the redevelopment of the Old Street roundabout in East London. The proposals outline a new enterprise and start-up institution at the central hub of Old Street, Hoxton and Shoreditch; an area which in recent years has been dubbed ‘Silicon Roundabout’ due to the rising success of new technology and .com enterprises concentrated in the area.

At a time when much of the economic and employment news in the UK makes for gloomy reading, Silicon Roundabout stands out as a remarkable success story, with a number of successful British technology companies emerging in one small area, and myriad new start-ups seeking to establish themselves in the area. Yet the roundabout which gave its name to this phenomenon remains, by contrast, unloved and fallow but for a small number of popular shops which inhabit the concrete underpass.

Boosted by government support for the ‘Tech City’ emerging in the East of London, the effort is now on to bring together investors, backers and the tech community to build upon this emerging London success story. “The roundabout is a landmark opportunity to articulate and amplify what is happening in the area”, explains Space Station director Russell Chopp.

Architecture and strategic design practice 00:/, themselves based in the area, have led the design for the proposals. They are already leaders in innovative enterprise environments and future workspaces: having been co-designers and partners behind the Hub network in London, which provides collaborative workspace for social entrepreneurs. Not surprisingly then, their proposals go far beyond the kind of corporate office design often associated with business campuses.

“It’s partly about realising why this place is already successful in the first place”, explain 00:/. “This is an economy which works in a completely different way, it’s far more open, far more sociable. It’s about the aggregation of many small, energetic, and rapidly growing start-ups with a sharing culture rather than single, large corporate setup which have driven the design of the sort of office buildings we got used to during the boom.”

Their proposal has a number of key distinctive features. First, the base of the structure is not a corporate lobby or a shopping mall, but a large, enclosed public space.

“In a sense, it’s about realising that London already has another major public space, sitting there, waiting to be found, used and loved” say the designers. “It should be something like a cross between Trafalgar Square and Grand Central Terminal in New York.”

The design has to respond to the very tight constraints of building around an existing underground and railway station, located at the centre of one of London’s busiest traffic junctions. Its structure and construction would have to be strongly shaped by these factors.

The resultant building, sitting astride this new public space, could not be more different from the glass office buildings of the City of London a few hundred metres further south. Not a series of floor plates, but a kind of city-within-a-city.

Within this compact city would be workspaces for companies which range in size from large to tiny, as well as shared resources and flexible workspaces for start-up enterprises of only one or two people.

On the outside, the faceted facade is a vast, programmable advertising board, reminiscent of Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. “We’re told the advertising space on the roundabout is some of the most expensive in Britain. Rather than resist that, we saw an opportunity in turning that onto its head, by opening the whole thing up. By selling the façade per pixel, per minute, the building creates a system which allows small, local companies, individuals and online campaigns to use it, alongside the big global players.” The result is a kind of neighbourhood-based ‘million-dollar homepage’, reflecting outwardly the energetic entrepreneurialism which is driving the change in this part of London.

Click here to download the press release as a pdf:

Silicon Roundabout Press Release_110928

SOAR WORKS, Sheffield

May 18, 2011

We have been very busy with SOAR Works (a 3600m2 new build community enterprise centre)  on site these last few months. Here are a few photos showing the building coming together, from seeing the steel frame in the fabrication shop, to being craned into position, and then bolted and welded on site. With all the steel frame erected, you really get an impression of the scale of the building. Floor slabs have been cast into the metal decking and internal walls are well underway – the internal rooms are taking shape.
The progress on site has been very visual over the last few weeks with windows and glass panels going in. Photos to be posted shortly. SH

Visit to the Fabrication Workshop

Erecting the steel frame

The building taking shape

One of the large workshops with a window to the studio above

Scale-Free Schools

February 24, 2011

David and Alastair presented the Scale-Free Schools project at the BSEC conference this week, opening up a new angle on the current conversation about delivering schools in the UK. The end of big capital spending on new schools through the Building Schools for the Future programme has left an acrimonious debate as to whether or not the quality of the built environment matters to the ultimate aims of education, and a vacuum of ideas for how we can design and deliver new schools in an ‘age of austerity’. But the question very few people have asked is, were the shining new institutional buildings of the boom-times really the most appropriate model for learning in the coming decades? Can we take their most successful elements and apply them in a smarter, more nimble way? What is the role of the community in education, and the role of education in communities?

Scale Free Schools is a design proposal for a new infrastructure of education in the 21st century. What do the changing roles of educators, new ideas for learning, emerging technologies and constrained resources mean for the infrastructure of learning?  Off the back of the project, these two videos were commissioned by Architecture + Design Scotland.

Everyone’s Games

November 19, 2010
Click here to view the presentation

 

On 18th November, Architecture 00:/ won a ‘live pitch’ event organised by the RIBA as part of their ‘Guerilla Tactics’ conference.
It posed a hypothetical brief to think about the design of the temporary structures to be used at London 2012, to provide information, catering kiosks, shops and event venues around the stadium. Developed in collaboration with Momentum engineering, ‘Everyone’s Games’ was 00’s presentation to that panel of expert clients.
Click on the image above to view it, or link to it here.
AP

Sense of Place Project wins high commendation at HCA Awards 2010

November 1, 2010

00:/ worked with a multidisciplinary team on the Sense of Place pilot project to test methodologies for mapping people’s sense of place in the Soho Road area of Birmingham as a driving force for a more bottom-up approach to masterplanning and area regeneration. The project recently won a high commendation at the Home & Communities Awards 2010. It was the only project to be highly commended within the category of ‘Leadership of Place’.

At the awards ceremony, Sarah Montague (Radio 4’s Today programme presenter), said: “The judges were particularly impressed with the project’s approach to engaging and empowering residents to make a difference to their lives and community.”

The community website http://www.sohofoundation.org.uk has been created to capture, harness and drive existing community initiative using the banners “Do (take action) Dream (about the future) Pledge (work together)”. A four minute film (made my 00:/) summarising the learning from the project can be seen by clicking here.

SH

SOAR WORKS, Sheffield – Work well underway

October 18, 2010

The steel frame to the north block of SOAR Works is now erected with the steel decking installed. Things are really taking shape and you can imagine the scale and quality of the spaces. I got very excited about the openings in the roof decking ready for the upstand rooflights. A lot of effort was put into laying-out and detailing the decking by ourselves and the sub-contractors. Metal floor deckings are used to cast the concrete slab and are generally concealed. Seeing it on site in its shiny splendor makes us happy with our decision to not have ceilings but exposed it. The view from the scaffolding tower allows you to grasp how amazing the view will be from the second floor conference room. At the end of last week the groundfloor slab was cast – I hear the finish is remarkable so when we have photos I will post.

SH

Ps I am also very happy with the women size site boots that the site manager (Dave) has now got me. A lot more manageable (and stylist) than the size 8 steel foot cap wellies I was previously struggling about site in!

(what) form follows (which) finance

September 28, 2010

00_Whatformfollowswhichfinance

I wrote this short provocation piece about changing urban project finance for an Academy of Urbanism roundtable organised last week with the Prince’s Foundation. It is also inspired by the project we are building with CABE and NESTA: a Compendium on the Civic Economy.

“It is a truism that in the rapidly changing economic, social and policy context, we will require a different set of mechanisms and pathways to unlock the investment streams required to re-think places. And if it is still true that ‘form follows finance’, this inevitably implies a different place-making mode. The financial logic underlying the Urban Renaissance has collapsed – so what will replace it?

The answer to this question is a contested terrain. We can, however, identify multiple emergent practices, some of which have been with us for some time now whereas others are more incipient. It is possible to outline some of the characteristic dynamics of these new practices. In particular we suggest three main parameters of change:

crowdsourcing fundng

market-making

use as service…”

[see 00_Whatformfollowswhichfinance for the rest of the 2 pager]

JB

open source table design

August 12, 2010

The (LDN) Petal Table is the first in a series of open design products we will be relesing to help you make your own co-working environments. Share, edit, remake for your own needs and to tell your own stories. Let us know what you think. And if you can – it would make us smile if you credited us…

Rethinking Community | Do Dream Pledge

May 10, 2010

A draft of our current thinking on neighbourhood development powered by the community told through animation here. How might our neighbourhoods be if the ideas and resources were crowd sourced from by the community “do”-ing instead of an outside developer imposing a way of living and doing in cookie cutter fashion? How might a people be inspired to “dream” if the amazing stories within their communities were made known to them – to understand that it is ordinary people that can make change happen? In a time of low resources, how could a community come together and “pledge” to regenerate itself  through the power of the masses? We think this is a future worth shaping – one in which dreams of the community drive a sense of place from the ground up to rebuild our neighbourhoods in a way that empowers people and enables the community to be active citizens.

AF

PS. We’re trying this medium out following the success of our animation at the World Architecture Forum last year. Expect to see a few more 00:/ productions. In the meantime, hope you enjoy this…

HUB king’s cross in full swing

December 16, 2008

The recently completed Kings Cross Hub goes live.

00:/ have recently completed the HUB at King’s Cross, London (more to follow)…

http://the-hub.net/