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Make, Don’t Make Do


About Make, Don’t Make Do This project has been undertaken by Assemble as part of our residence in Sugarhouse Studios 2012 - 2013. Supported by the LLDC. April 2013 Sugarhouse Studios 107 High Street London E15 2QQ info@assemblestudio.co.uk www.assemblestudio.co.uk

ASSEMBLE


contents 0. Introduction..................................... 4

1. History and Future........................... 8 Pre 19th Century................................................. 10 1800-1930........................................................... 12 1930s-70s........................................................... 14 1970s-2000..........................................................18 2000-2012........................................................... 20 2012-...................................................................32

2. Conditions........................................ 38 The High Street - Access......................................42 The High Street - Public Buildings....................... 44 The High Street - Pavement.................................46 The High Street - Frontages.................................48 The High Street - Signage.................................... 50 The Waterways.................................................... 52 The Neighbours....................................................54 Land Use............................................................. 56 Business..............................................................58 Working Yards......................................................60 Courtyards...........................................................62 Sugarhouse Lane Conservation Area................... 64 Industrial building stock......................................66 Green Space........................................................ 68 Vacancy...............................................................70

3. Proposals........................................ 72 Principles.............................................................74 Projects............................................................... 78

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INTRODUCTION

View of Stratford High Street from the Strand East Tower, looking towards Bow. 2012 page 4

INTRODUCTION


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“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” Jane Jacobs. The Death and Life of Great American Cities

This study focuses on the area south of the Olympic Park, an island created by the waterways (River Lea, City Mill River and Three Mills Wall River), the A12 and the Docklands Light Railway-with Stratford High Street as its centre. Working from Sugarhouse Studios, a light industrial building awaiting demolition and redevelopment, we have found ourselves in an area of rapid physical and economic change, with outgoing industrial uses being replaced by residential buildings and communities. This change is not unique to the Lower Lea Valley, and has been affecting industrial London sites since the second half of the last century - and its rapid pace here in recent years feels almost unprecedented. At a local scale, the area can be characterised by a rich juxtaposition of uses, where light industry, workspace, transport infrastructure, post-war housing stock, large scale development, and ruderal ecologies sit side by side. This variety of scale and use and the rapid rate of change creates a feeling that anything can happen here. On the flip side, with many of these uses taking place out of public view, in yards and wharfs hidden from the high street, there is a perception from visitors of the area as a ‘no-mans land’, amplified by the presence of large tracts of vacant land. Similarly, the prevalence of infrastructure that separates neighbouring buildings and communities creates a sparse and disjointed urban grain that is difficult to navigate on foot. The rapid urban change is represented by a displacement of business uses and a detachment of residential ones. A burgeoning number of residents are living in an area that does not yet have the necessary infrastructure to support them, creating a scenario where many residents commute not just for work, but for leisure, socialising and shopping. This problem has been compounded with the freedom with which speculative development has shaped the built environment: residential density guidelines have been routinely exceeded, there is a shortage of design intent and most concerning is the disconnection between new development and existing residents, businesses or institutions. Studying the history of the area in this document, we have seen an ongoing relationship between large-scale development and the opportunistic uses of its byproducts. Learning from this, we set out to propose how we can take advantage of the by-products of current development in the area. From small additions or alterations to longer term strategic changes, Make, Don’t Make Do proposes how more people can take an active role in current changes to the built environment.

Document Structure

History & Future This document begins with an overview of the area’s history and its development over the past 200 years, outlining the processes and forces that have shaped and created the current situation.

Conditions The following section looks at the present day conditions of our focus area through a combination of mapping and photographic surveying. These examine the issues and the opportunities presented by the area now, as a way of managing change in the area.

Proposals Having outlined the lessons learnt from this area study, we develop a set of key principles for intervention. These are intended to act as guidance for future development in the area. The document concludes with a series of project proposals , which demonstrate how the principles can be delivered.

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1. A BRIEF HISTORY & FUTURE

High Street Improvements Works , view from Groves Bridge across to Dane’s Yard. 1933 page 8

HISTORY & FUTURE


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Pre-19th Century / Pre Industrial An Ancient Highway Since the construction of the first Bow bridge in 1110, the road now known as Stratford High Street has served as an important route through the Lower Lea Valley, linking then as it still does, Bow and Stratford, London and East Anglia. Development happened first along the edges of the high street, with much of the surrounding area made up of marshland threaded by a network of creeks and streams feeding into the River Lea, the dividing line between Essex & Middlesex. Three Mills stood at the confluence of three such canals, one of the only industrial buildings in an area otherwise surrounded by agriculture and marsh.

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John Rocque’s Plan 1745

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1800-1930 As London began its industrial boom, marshland quickly gave way to a concentration of factories and heavy industry, growing incrementally in response to industrialization. In close proximity to the city of London, with cheap marshy land and waterways, it became the ideal location for land-hungry industrial buildings. Public activity was concentrated along the High Street, but the areas to the north and south became colonized with a range of larger scale industries – producing bricks, copper, lime, tar, chemicals, asphalt, cast iron and many ink and paper related products. The area not only developed in response to London’s industrialization, but created many of the products and building materials that continued to feed it. The canal network was an integral part of the area’s development - water supply was important for many industrial processes and the waterways were used for the transport of goods & materials. The use of the rivers as transport routes shaped the development of wharfs, yards and inroads. Many yards doubled as wharfs and Sugarhouse lane can be seen to run directly parallel to the route of the now extinct Three Mills Back River. The High street continued to be the only major route through the area. This was the centre of the area’s public life – its pubs, shops and most of its homes, and it provided the link for those living or working in the area to Bow, Stratford and further afield. Shops were adorned with extravagant signage designed to attract passing traffic. Conversely, the spaces off the High Street, entirely landlocked and providing no through-routes, were exclusively work-orientated and developed in clusters around wharfs and shared service yards. Their footprints were not defined by a relation to a passing public or a need for frontages but by a dense and incremental network of service spaces for delivery, storage, and transit.

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Ordnance survey map from 1894 naming a variety of industrial uses in the Sugar House Lane area 1894

which is subject to outline guidance in chapter 5 of the London Plan. Para 5.70 describes the Lower Lea Valley as an “industrial area based around a network of canals and watercourses”. It acknowledges that “many of the industrial premises are in low-grade uses and only partially occupied, which give parts of the area a poor appearance”. Optimisation of the utility of the industrial offer and releasing surplus land for mixed-use development is recognised as an opportunity, although the extent of this release is identified as a key question for a more detailed planning framework. The document also identifies the need for an extension of the cluster of creative industries at Three Mills to other parts of the area. The Lower Lea Valley Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF, adopted 2007) expands upon these broad guiding principles which are summarised below.

3.4 Lower Lea Valley context 1890s

Status of the OAPF as a decision-making tool The OAPF was adopted by the Mayor of London in 2007 and continues to be an important policy document in informing emerging LDF policy and determining applications at the local level. The document includes a number of Valley-wide principles as well as specific guidance for each sub-area. The status of the OAPF was recently reinforced by the “Trad” appeal decision in which the Secretary of State indicated that “although the OAPF does not form part of the statutory development plan, it is an important Supplementary Planning Document which was the subject of a 12-week consultation exercise and should therefore be afforded very considerable weight in the determination of this appeal” (para 8). Of particular 1920-1930 is the assertion that “the OAPF [establishes] importance the context for land use change in this locality” (para 13). page 13

Heritage context The OAPF provides specific emphasis on the importance of the character of the historic environment. Development principle F13 states that “masterplans and development proposals in the LLV should be designed with sensitivity to its unique local environment, in particular its landscape character, environmental assets, and historic buildings and places.” The guidance recognises that the valley’s heritage is a unique asset which can play a key role in relation to place-making and shaping future identity. The OAPF states that “the valley as a whole has been shaped by a long history of industrial use and a unique role in London’s urban expansion. This has created a remarkably complex urban environment, which includes…a rich waterway environment and ecology, and diverse industrial areas”. The Lower Lea Valley continues to experience major change, and as such there are 1920-1930 relatively few examples of intact heritage in the area. Sugar House Lane is highlighted alongside Fish Island and Leamouth as an area of particular heritage character where existing character should be acknowledged and enhanced. (para 2.177). The following extract from the Three Mills sub-area text identifies the importance of Sugar House Lane: “In the northwest of the sub-area there is a group of 20th century industrial buildings on Sugar House Lane, which form an urban environment with significant historical character due to the variety of building types and sense of enclosure created, and could be considered for conservation area status as part of the historic Three Mills area.” (para 4.150) Industrial1920-1930 land use The OAPF defines the core Sugar House Lane study area as an ‘Other Industrial Area’ (OIA). The OIA designation permits the Introduction of additional (i.e. non-industrial) uses provided that industry remains the

primary use and that there is “no net loss of industrial capacity”. Para 2.105 clarifies that “to allow such intensification, including the addition of non-industrial uses, to occur in a managed way and to be sustainable, it is an essential pre-requisite that these areas are subject to a detailed analysis and spatially specific masterplan process that: i. Demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Strategic and Local Planning Authorities that there is no net loss of industrial capacity; ii. Determines the geographical area of industrial land to be retained and designated as new Locally Significant Industrial Site (LSIS), the extent of industrial land to be released, areas where mixed uses could be satisfactorily co-located, and the type and location of non-industrial uses; iii. Demonstrates that no unacceptable disturbance would be caused to new land uses and the existence of land uses would not unacceptably constrain existing and future flexibility of industrial uses; and iv. Demonstrates that, where residential community uses are proposed, they have adequate and safe access to public transport. In the short-run, the OAPF dictates that OIA’s should be considered as LSIS for development control policy purposes to “ensure that a master planned approach is not compromised by premature development”. In broad terms, the OAPF indicates that industrial areas should be located adjacent to other industrial areas to establish ”clearly defined, viable and contiguous industrial areas”. Conversely the guidance states that residential or community uses should be close to similar uses and amenities to avoid the creation of isolated communities. Make, Don’t Make Do

The OAPF provides specific guidance in relation to land use and employment activity for sub-area 9. It is


1930s-70s Acting as the main artery from London to East Anglia, the High Street struggled to cope with ever-increasing traffic of London’s continued expansion and the rising importance of the motor vehicle. In 1930 Parliament passed two acts that would transform the development of the area. The High Street Improvement scheme, which in some places more than doubled the width of the road, from approximately 42ft (12.8m) to 100ft (30.48m) and The River Lea Act; which saw the construction of the Prescott Channel and the Three Mills back river filled in (becoming the bottom end of Hunts Lane). The physical changes brought about by the High Street Improvement Scheme, undertaken between 1930 and 1964 ‘altered the area beyond recognition’. It destroyed much of the dense, finer grain edge to the High Street that had built up over the past century. The homes, shops and public orientated businesses were replaced by wide lanes and faster cars. The only buildings on the High Street that remain from this period are Dane’s Yard & Jhankaar’s. With the construction of Bow Flyover in 1969 and The A12/East Cross Route soon after, the High Street became much as we currently know it, a vehicle dominated space with few concessions made for those on foot. What was previously the area’s main pedestrian thoroughfare and the centre of public life suddenly became a barrier, hard to navigate or cross and with businesses that targeted the automobile rather than the pedestrian. All along the new edge to the High Street light industrial and transport related industries moved in, taking advantage of the newly expanded road infrastructure. Buildings such as 107 and 109 High Street were designed with oversized facades and oversized lettering to catch the eye of passing motorists. The character of the looser, larger industrial works and yards behind the high street remained largely the same, with even more warehouses squeezed in and around the various factories and yards. The Ordinance Survey plan of 1969 shows Sugar House Lane at its most intensively developed, crammed with factories and warehouses. page 14

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Before

Stratford High Street view towards Bow from Groves Bridge. 1930

After

Stratford High Street view towards Stratford from Groves Bridge. 1936 page 15

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Fig.2 Stratford High Street: from High Street to Highway.

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2.i Stratford High Street 1930. Front row of buildings is predominantly residential, surrounded by dense industrial clusters.

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2.ii Stratford High Street post-1933. Road doubled in width. Front row of buildings is light industrial, with large billboards and signage on frontages advertising themselves to the new high speed road.

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1970s-2000 From the 1970s to the turn of the century, the area reflected many wider societal changes with a gradual shift away from industry and manufacturing towards more service and distribution based industries. The area contained a number of larger businesses (eg. Ricoh, Asphaltic), but the varied plot sizes and piecemeal layout of the yards also made spaces for many smaller, independent businesses. Previous tenants spoke of the area being a part of a wider trade community through the Lower Lea Valley. This is a result of a transport infrastructure and critical density that encouraged related activities – general mechanics being next door to engine repair workshops, regularly visited by mobile scrap metal merchants and food vans. This was supported by the use of the yards as shared spaces, which most business units opened onto. As larger industries moved out of the area, they were often replaced by small automobile-related services. Many vacant buildings were squatted and some used for parties, becoming a part of the rave scene of the 1990s. In some instances cultural uses began to move into spaces vacated by declining industry. The most notable of these is 3 Mills film studios moving into the vacated bottling and distillery of Hedges & Butler and former bonded warehouses in the 1990’s. The vast storage and distribution hangars were well-suited to being repurposed as stages, studios, performance spaces and offices. page 18

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The flyover increased the traffic capacity, attracting business tenants which benefit from proximity to the page 19

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2000-2012 The early 2000s saw the expansion of cultural uses in Sugarhouse Lane, primarily in the Sugar House Business Centre, Sugar House Yard and 107 High Street. Benefitting from a proximity to Three Mills, cheap rents and large spaces, these included set designers and builders, sound and lighting engineers, costume design and hire, artists’ studios and The British Academy of New Music. Acme studios also converted the eponymous Sugarhouse building into affordable live/work spaces for artists. For the North side of the High Street, it was a very different story. In December 2000, planning permission was granted for Barratt Homes to convert Central House, 3266 High Street from an office building to residential block. Incorporating 63 one bed and 130 two bed flats with a gym and communications centre, providing homes for around 500 people, it was the first predominantly residential use introduced into the area for over 50 years. The previous use of the site as work space (and prior to that, an iron foundry), was relatively well suited to the site location: the 6 lane High Street offering transport and distribution links, road noise offering little nuisance and a network of related businesses and suppliers in the Lower Lea Valley. Conversely, for residents entering into an exclusively business and industrial area, there were no local amenities, shops or indeed, other residents. Despite this, due to the insatiable demand of the housing market, all of the flats sold within a year, primarily as buy-to-let from foreign investors. Central House is notable for its lack of design quality and lack of compliance with housing standards, offering single aspect apartments, gated from the street with no relationship to the High Street, low section 106 & affordable housing contribution and an assumed reliance on car use. Following the conversion of Central House to residential use in 2000, two further large scale residential developments have been built on the north side of the High Street, creating an additional 429 residential units - homes for well over 1000 people. On street level, the developments are notable for their vacancy - both developments contain a considerable number of empty commercial units. Two further large scale developments on the north side of the high street have been granted planning permission but are yet to be built. In the years since London won the bid to host the Olympics and the Olympic Development Authority (ODA) and London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC) came into power (2005), the 3 developments that have been granted planning permission are notable for all significantly exceeding the density guidelines of the London plan, introducing tall buildings (35, 25 and 18 story towers respectively) and offering little in terms of local amenity, affordable housing, S106 contributions or support for local businesses. For example the 2-12 Stratford High Street scheme does not include any affordable housing or play space, and has no B1-B8 uses. Driven by the lucrative resale of residential units above, the developments have little street-level relationship to the High Street, or each other. The primary motivation of the buildings’ layout has been to turn away from the road, to the point where the entrances and lobbies, which are accessible from the High Street pavement, are hardly visible. In stark contrast to the incremental growth of businesses in the area, the proximity of the road is not perceived as a quality worth celebrating for these residential developments, and is in some ways an elephant in the room. On the other hand the road has been used to advertise the developments’ good transport links. Along with other similar developments further east along the High Street, the density, massing and design quality of these developments, along with the permissiveness of the planning authorities that let them go ahead, have come under wide criticism in the architectural and national press, such as in ‘Stratford High Street’ by Oliver Wainwright, (Building Design) or ‘Labour’s Castles in the Air’ by Rowan Moore (The Guardian).

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Central House as an office. View from the High Street. 1970s

Central House as housing. Interior view. 2000s page 21

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Fig.4 Central House: from office block to housing block.

3.i Central House 1970. Open plan offices and business units

4.iii Central House typical floor arrangement 1970.

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3.ii Central House 2000. Converted to residential use. New external balconies, penthouse, cladding and glazing. Interior partitions break floor plates into single aspect apartments. A new frontage of fencing and planting now separates the building from the road.

4.iv Central House typical floor arrangement 2000.

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Meanwhile, on the south of the High Street, Cleveland developments had been buying up parcels of land and working up a masterplan for the site with housing associations East Thames Group and Southern Housing that entailed the demolition of the entire existing building stock. In June 2008, a large portion of the area was designated as the Sugar House Lane Conservation Area, one of 9 conservation areas in Newham. The particular qualities of the area for protection were identified as: the evidence and association of industrial use; the intimate sequence of spaces and waterways; the plain, simple buildings with strong group value; the rich silhouette and skyline; the palette of traditional materials including granite, and London stock brickwork and the relationship of the buildings to the waterways. Despite these being qualities that once might have been commonplace throughout the Lower Lea Valley, the conservation area appraisal makes clear that they are increasingly rare and put simply, “there is nowhere else like it in Newham.” The establishment of the conservation area made substantial problems for the tabula rasa strategy of the Cleveland development and essentially halted its plans. Following heritage-led masterplanning exercises by Stephen Taylor Architects & Urban Practitioners, the site was bought in 2010 by Landprop, a development subsidiary to Ikea. As the first phase of their development in 2011, LandProp cleared the large parcel of land within the conservation area along Hunts Lane of all existing buildings and businesses, save one remaining chimney. During the Olympics, the area was rented out for temporary accommodation for 1,500 cleaners servicing the Olympic site, known as ‘Camp CleanEvent’. Benefitting from a proximity to the service entrance to the Olympic park, the area’s residential population temporarily doubled, made up primarily of cleaners from mainland and Eastern Europe and interns from the US and UK, housed 10 to a portakabin. With on-site catering, camping, entertainment and nightlife, the population increase had little impact on the local area or economy. In July 2012, Landprop launched the first built elements of their development centred around Dane’s Yard. This incorporated a 40m high sculptural timber tower studded with LEDs and the opening of Danes Yard Kitchen - a relatively high-end restaurant serving 200 covers and acting as a calling card for the future development. Concurrently, planning permission was granted for the outline Landprop masterplan, renaming the historic Sugarhouse Lane site ‘Strand East’. At the same time, planning was granted for the Bromley by Bow North and Thames East development, subject to the S106 obligations for both developments being agreed. These two agreements, secured at the end of the life of the LGTDC, gave permission for the demolition of 11,590m2 of business space, and the construction of 1,993 residential units, 56,543m2 of business and commercial floorspace and a 350 bed hotel. In Jan 2013, ownership for many of the buildings containing creative uses around Sugarhouse Yard passed from the LLDC to Landprop, leaving Rani LTD, Jhankaar & Three Mills Cafe as the two remaining parcels of land under independent ownership.

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2-12 Stratford High Street. Artists visualisation.

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Current skyline of the North side of Stratford High Street.

Make, Don’t Make Do


Fig5. 2-12 Stratford High Street. low density carwash to high density residential

4.i 2-12 Stratford High Street 2012 Extremely low density. One car wash station, two billboards and a vacant single story warehouse

page 26

HISTORY & FUTURE


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4.ii 2-12 Stratford High Street 2020 Planning permission received for extremely high density residential use in 15 and 35 story towers. Density = 868 u/ ha. The guideline density (The London Plan 2011) for an urban location is up to 650 u/ha.

page 27

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AB BOT SB U RY C LO SE


pAgE 28

HISToRY & FUTURE


Fig. 5

2-12 Stratford High Street development poRSCHE development Strand East development

Sugarhouse Lane Conservation Area 1. Jhakhaar and Three Mills Cafe, owned by khalid Mahmood 2. RAnI, leased by Rani Ltd

Bromley by Bow north development LLDC opportunity site

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Fig.7 Dane’s Yard: From printing industry to branding beacon & European dining.

6.i Dane’s Yard 1970. Dane printing Inks factory. owners: Dane & Co

pAgE 30

HISToRY & FUTURE


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6.ii Danes Yard 2012. Dane’s Yard kitchen, Landprop offices and LED-studded timber tower. owners: Land prop

pAgE 31

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23

AB BOT SB U RY C LO SE


2012 onwards In the coming decade the High Street will be re-shaped by the continued large scale redevelopment, primarily comprising of the delivery of projects which have recently received outline planning. These represent the construction of an estimated 2300 new residential units, with approximately 30,000m2 of commercial space. The following is an outline chronological breakdown of future development in the area, based on information provided by planning documents and consultations with the LLDC, LBN and LBTH. (These are subject to change.)

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HISTORY & FUTURE


2-12 Stratford High Street. Stratford High Street Properties

Porsche Development. Lancaster PLC

Strand East. LandProp

Bromley by Bow North. East Thames Group, Southern Housing Group.

2-12 and Porsche schemes have been designed by the same architect. This illustrates how little input designers have had in making connections between developments.

page 33

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2013 - 2014 Some of the key developments in the area carried out by governmental bodies will focus on projects related to the Olympic legacy and to transport infrastructure. This will encompass the transformation of the Olympic Park and its buildings into public amenities and begin to respond to the pedestrian and cyclist threats posed by the Bow Interchange with Cycle Early Start and a new cycle lane on the A11. The North part of the Olympic Park will open to the public in the summer of 2013, housing a cafe, play space and community facilities. This summer LLDC will also launch an interim use programme, offering temporary sites for commercial and public projects to take place over the next 15 years. The area outside Pudding Mill Lane station and the carpark on Rick Roberts Way have been chosen as the meanwhile use sites for this.

2014 - 2018 The rest of the Olympic Park will open to the public in the summer of 2014, whilst construction starts on its first new residential neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, construction of private mixed use development along Stratford High Street will commence in full swing. Works will commence in the middle section of the East Thames and Southern Housing Groups’ development site Bromleyby-Bow North (BBBN), and demolition of the remaining buildings in the southern part of Sugarhouse Lane will take place, forming part of Land Prop’s Strand East programme. In approximately five years from now there will be substantial built additions to the High Street, with 2-12 Stratford High Street and PORSCHE developments reaching completion. Acme Studios will move in to the commercial ground floor of 2-12 Stratford High Street as part of Section 106 agreement, paying peppercorn rent for 3 years. On the other side of the A11, LandProp will complete the North East Quarter and begin the Commercial Quarter; with a gallery and a Marriot hotel facing the road. Residential blocks in the southern tip of the Strand East masterplan will be completed. Meanwhile the remaining buildings on the Strand East and BBBN sites will be demolished to make way for the final stages of development. Section 106 public realm improvements triggered by the completion of developments will create connections across the A11 and the A12. This will be delivered in conjunction with further transport connections between the new neighbourhoods, such as new bus route networks running between the A11 and A12 through the Strand East development. By 2028 the LLDC Interim use sites are expected to give place to permanent mixed use development; while the Strand East and BBBN schemes will be complete.

page 34

HISTORY & FUTURE


Map of projects within the Lower Lea Valley, including the transformation of the olympic park. 2012 This shows our study area in the context of wider planned change.

pAgE 35

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page 36

HISTORY & FUTURE


Welcome to Stratford High Street A postcard by Oliver Wainwright. 2010

page 37

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2. CONDITIONS

View from the Strand East development site page 38

CONDITIONS


page 39

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As we have seen in previous sections; throughout the history of the area there has been an ongoing relationship between large-scale development and the opportunistic uses of its ‘by-products’. When large factories were built in response to industrialisation, gaps between them were adopted as shared yards for smaller businesses. When the road was widened to ease traffic from Essex to London, buildings became designed like signs and a host of distribution uses moved in to take advantage of the road network. Sometimes cause [lots of cars], consequence [wide roads] and opportunism [automobile related business] are read in unison and sometimes cause [industrialisation] and consequence [large factories] disappear and only the evidence of opportunism remains [yards and small businesses]. We have also seen that a new, significant change is underfoot, where speculative high-density residential development is moving in. If the area’s historic development has taught us the value of responding to the ‘by-products’ of external change, then what opportunities might lie in the present state of change? Through an extensive process of surveying and primary research, we now present a snapshot of the current state of the area; describing the place, its context, uses and users. page 40

CONDITIONS


page 41

Make, Don’t Make Do


Bow roundabout with the view of the A12

The High Street - Access From its origins as an ancient highway, the High Street has been instrumental in shaping the development of the area. Currently it is something of a mixed blessing, providing numerous advantages for businesses whilst its current width, usage and access suppress any potential of a pedestrianorientated high street.

Barrier to access across the High Street

It is extremely difficult to cross the A11, with no pedestrian crossings at any point in the 1km stretch between Bow Church and Abbey Lane. Similarly, crossing east-west over the roundabout is a risky affair with no pedestrian crossing points on a busy and dangerous junction. Central reservations emphasizes the road’s ‘highway’ appearance, encouraging motorists and discouraging pedestrians. Frequent transgressions of the 30mph speed limit make it an intimidating experience for those attempting to negotiate the area on foot. Aside from safety concerns, this also creates a considerable real and perceptual distance and sense of separation between the North and South sides of the High Street, and the roundabout divorces Bow from Stratford. page 42

Barriers to access Dane’s Yard

CONDITIONS


Bow Flyover : above

Parking Bow Flyover : below page 43

Make, Don’t Make Do


the High street - Public buildings Despite the significant problems the road causes for the pedestrian environment; it provides excellent transport links for local businesses and delivers an audience of 40,000 people passing through the area every single day. This makes it both a lucrative site for advertising and a good way for local businesses to expand their audience by attracting passing vehicular traffic. For many businesses such as Bow Car Wash, McDonald’s, Calor gas, the road network is integral to their product, and they benefit from its role as part of a trade route network in the Lower Lea Valley, a historic commuter route from Essex to London and more recently, the route to Westfield Stratford as a weekend shopping destination. For uses which respond to these three major routes, the road gives great capacity to provide for either ‘destination’ or ‘passing trade’ style businesses. The road’s primary audience shifts to the pedestrian user on the Bromley by Bow side of the roundabout. This contrast of uses, which is zoned geographically contributes to the perceived separation between Bow Road and Stratford High Street. McDonald’s is unique in its broad accessibility, serving both the residential area and pedestrian audiences, as well as the transient road users. It is thus one of the only places, which simultaneously caters for those from either side of the Bow Interchange. The only three places, which are open in the evenings are McDonald’s, Tesco and Jankhaar. With the exception of McDonald’s none of these are perceived as social spaces by multiple audiences.

pAgE 44

ConDITIonS


Pukka Tukka Chicken shop, pizza and take away.

Happy OffLicence Off licence and convenience store.

Capricorn Property Services Estate agents for many surrounding residential developments.

Dane’s Yard Kitchen Restaurant. It is the first completed part of Strand East. Expensive in context, empty in daytime.

PORSCHE Luxury car showroom and garage.

Our Lady & St Catherine of Siena Church. Catholic Church. Weekly outdoor bootsale on the road.

Greenlight Youth Centre Community Centre, cafe and events space, established in 1976.

The Nunnery Bow Arts Gallery, Cafe, Event space. Home to Bow Arts Trust, who host community meetings and run affordable studio spaces in Bow/Poplar.

Jankhaar Belly dancing club with the latest license in Newham. At night cars line the A11 outside. Owner Khalid Mahmood refuses to sell property to Land Prop.

Bow Hand Carwash Car wash and car park, which benefits from proximity to the roundabout.

Bow Baptist Church Rehoused in the East Thames development. Partners with the Chinese Baptist Church.

McDonald’s Fast food restaurant and Drive-thru. Open 24/7 for automobiles. Often used as a navigational landmark. Busy.

Charles Hamilton Estates Estate Agents in the foot of a lucrative billboard.

Sugarhouse Studios Pizzeria and event space.

Three Mills Cafe Caf. Frequented by the construction industry, as well as neighbouring businesses. Customers park at Dulux. Owned by landlord of Jankhaar.

Dulux Paint supplies. The shop provides a large car park off the High Street. The shop is primarily trade orientated.

Calor Gas Bottled gas suppliers to a network of trade and construction industries.

Bow Church Church of England. A 700-yr desecrated site, which survived the Blitz and remained as an island after the A11 construction.

Post Office Local Post Office and newsagent.

Perfect Fried Chicken Fast food restaurant. Attracts local residents, in particular as a hang out place for groups of young people who gather on Stroudley Walk.

Bow Central Mosque and Muslim Cultural Centre Serves a large local Bangladeshi community.

Unnamed Garage Car mechanic, spares and repairs.

Laundry Room Launderette. Occupies the ground floor of Warren House. One of 3 launderettes in a 500m radius.

Tesco Supermarket superstore. Biggest store in a 3.5km radius. Has a large Halal and World Food sections. Frequented by a wide demographic.

Tesco Petrol Station Petrol, convenience store and cash machine.

Fig. 8

primarily serves the pedestrian Serves both the pedestrian and the car user primarily serves the car user

open in daytimes open in the evening/ night time Serves the pedestrian Serves the car

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pavement by the Bow Roundabout

The High Street - Pavement A result of the revised plot lines following the High Street Improvement programme of the 1930s, many buildings are set far back from the road and pavements along the High Street are as wide as 8m in places. pavement by Dane’s Yard

Following the recent investment as a part of the Highstreet 2012 project, they are of a consistent material character, utilising 600x600 concrete pavers throughout. There are no street trees or planting. Regular vehicle crossovers provide access for vehicles to yards, courtyards and parking off the high street. Carrying little foot traffic and with few active uses, each pavement is isolated and its function purely utilitarian, able to convey pedestrian from A to B but provide little other amenity or enjoyment despite its generous proportions. In this condition of two entirely onesided streets, pedestrian-orientated businesses struggle to attract any passing trade from the other side of the road. pavement by the Lock Building page 46

CONDITIONS


pavement by Porsche car showroom

pavement by One Stratford

page 47

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The Lock Building - Shop unit

The Lock Building Mechanical & electrical services

The Lock Building - Residential entrance

The High Street - Frontages The frontages of recent developments on the North side of the High Street do little to communicate their uses to the street - either to the passing vehicle or pedestrian. They present repetitive, blank facades in which residential entrances, commercial units and utility cupboards are barely indistinguishable. One Stratford development - residential entrance and utility cabinet

page 48

CONDITIONS


The Lock Building

page 49

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The High Street - Signage Most of the remaining post-war light industrial and business units on the High Street are characterised by the manner in which their frontages have been designed to catch the eye of passing motorists. The buildings themselves act as signs for their uses. page 50

107, 109 & 111 High Street - Light industrial units with integrated facade signage CONDITIONS


Late night belly-dancing club. Customers park along high street on yellow lines after hours

Commercial billboard

Workers cafe open 6am-2pm

High street frontage used for advertising, access to rear

Signage around Sugarhouse Lane for businesses no longer in operation page 51

Strand East branded hoardings

Multiple billboards at Bow Hand Car Wash

Make, Don’t Make Do


Working boats mooring on the River Lea, on the edge of the Strand East development site

the Waterways The waterways have played a crucial role in the area’s development as transportation node, when they were built in the 19th Century. now the canals are hardly used and if anything serve a passive leisure purpose as scenic backdrop to walks and jogs on the towpath. Boating, fishing or other active uses of the water happen further north or further South of the study area in Hackney Wick or Three Mills respectively. Thames 21 reed planting workshop along the River Lea

The only regular productive canal uses can be seen on the Bow Free Wharf, where Thames21 and British Waterways moor or load their vessels. The wharf is very important to those working along the River Lea, and is seen to be under threat due to predicted complaints about noise from future residents. Additionally, The 3 Mills Residential Mooring provides affordable housing for a close community of twenty residential narrow boats on the Three Mills Wall River. Access to the canal is very provisional and is not marked on the High Street, despite investment made into the towpath itself. pAgE 52

House boats mooring at Three Mills ConDITIonS


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Olympic Park meadow and walking path

The Neighbours The area has a diverse range of neighbours - from the predominately residential Bromley-by-Bow to the West, the commercial and residential centre of Stratford to the East, the recreation opportunities of the Olympic Park to the North and the trade and transport network of the Lower Lea Valley to the South. The complete opening of the Olympic Park to the public in 2014 could create significant opportunities for local communities as well as the prospective residents, and could become a significant resource for the area with its new sport facilities and provision of a rich natural landscape.

St. Leonard’s Adventurous Playspace in Bromley by Bow

The proximity of the area to Bromley-bybow is also of particular importance, as the locality houses a dense and diverse residential population and a wide range of committed community organisations. The area surrounding Bow church alone contains three churches, a mosque, a youth club and an art gallery, each combining regular and passionate audiences with explicitly altruistic aims. However, due to both physical and social issues, there is a lack of connection to the communities in Bromley-byBow in particular. Despite being only several minutes walk, most residents in Bromley-by-bow are not aware of the area other than it being ‘the wasteland next to Tesco’ or ‘empty’. page 54

View of the Strand East tower from Abbey CONDITIONS


View of Bromley by Bow from the Bow Flyover

Residential development in Stratford

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1. Shops, restaurants, cafes, services (equivalent to use classes A1-A5 & sui generisis) 1.1 Capricorn Property Services Estate Agents 1.2 PORSCHE Garage, Showroom 1.3 Meet & Eat Cafe for construction workers 1.4 Dane’s Yard Kitchen Restaurant 1.5 Jhankaar Club Belly-dancing nightclub 1.6 Three Mill’s Cafe Low cost cafe 1.7 Dulux Trade paint supplies 1.8 Dacca Cash & Carry Asian wholesale food 1.9 Tesco Superstore 1.10 The Miller’s Cafe Cafe 1.11 Three Mills Studio Private catering 1.12 McDonald’s 1.13 Greenlight Youth Centre Cafe 1.14 Carmelite Cafe 1.15 Noor (Barber shop) 1.16 Noor 2 (Ladies Hairdressers) 1.17 Bow Cash & Carry 1.18 Euromaster 1.19 Bow Fish & Chips 1.20 Un-named Grocery Store 1.21 Hussain’s Convenience Store 1.22 Post Office 1.23 Laundry Room & Dry Cleaning 1.24 Illma Superstore 1.25 Convenience Store 1.26 Chicken Shop 1.27 Blue Anchor pub 1.28 Pukka Tukka 1.29 Happy Off Licence 1.30 Tesco Express 1.31 Ladbrokes 1.32 Convenience Store 1.33 Viewtube

Land Use The majority of business uses is focused in the light industrial estates between Bow Roundabout and Abbey Lane Large light industrial buildings accommodate a multitude of tenants simultaneously. Marshgate Lane Industrial Estate displays high density of uses, where companies range from Construction services, Foreign Language TV offices to Print Graphics and Woven goods. West of the Bow Interchange is a much finer urban grain, predominantly residential. Clusters of cultural, business and community uses are found on Bow Road and further south towards Bromley-byBow. Just west of the Bow Interchange on Bow Road there is a noticeable concentration of religious uses, which are distinct in faith and approach. The Strand East island currently accommodates all of the use classes, where educational institutions are found next door to construction industry business, temporary accommodation and ‘contemporary dining’ page 56

2. Businesses (equivalent use class B1-B8) 2.1 Appleby & Wood Accountants 2.2 Mattex Carpets & Rugs wholesale 2.3 WJ Curley & sons Oils & Fats processing 2.4 Saga Chartered Accountants 2.5 Diagon Set & Prop Builders 2.6 Charles Hamilton Estate agent in a billboard 2.7 Marshgate Lane Estate i. Bangla TV Foreign Language TV ii. Pheonix Motor Engineerings Car repairs iii. Wolseley UK Electrical parts iv. Skanska Construction Construction v. Bam Nuttal Construction vi. Supply UK Hire Shops Plant Hire vii. Boski LTD Beds & bed parts viii. Art Conservation Systems Conservation supplies ix. Andy’s Motors Mechanic x. Environmental Scientifics Group Construction, testing xi. Richline Graphics Print Graphics xii. Filebank Records Management Document storage xiii.RGB Digital Print Graphics xiv. Imtech G&H M&E xv. Calibrated Enterprise Construction xvi. Jay Visa Services Travel services 2.8 Rani LTD Whiolesale tool supply 2.9 Riverbank Studios Artist studios 2.10 CW Plant Hire Construction Plant Hire 2.11 Brandon Hire Construction Plant Hire 2.12 LandProp Developers 2.13 Light Armoury Weaponry Props 2.14 Basket makers -NAME Woven goods 2.15 Blitz Rigging Rigging and rental 2.16 Barclays Bike Storage Bike storage & repair 2.17 Three Mills Film Studios Film Studios 2.18 Bow Hand Car Wash Car wash 2.19 Calor Gas Bottled Gas supplier 2.20 Ideal Furniture Furniture distributor 2.21 Leycol Printing 2.22 Un-named mechanics Mechanics 2.23 Petit Forestier Refridgerated vehicle rental 2.24 TRAD Scaffolding Scaffolding 2.25 Unity Tyre Co Ltd. 2.26 Bow Arts Studios 2.27 Digital Print & Sign UK 2.28 Wish Oriental 2.29 FilmOffice 2.30 Artswrap 2.31 Lazer Link 2.32 Vivah Productions 2.33 Kovers Events

3. Residential (equivalent use class C1-C4) 3.1 Residential 3.2 Temporary housing/camping 3.3 Three Mills Mooring 3.4 The Sugarhouse [Live/work]

4. Institutions, Assembly & Leisure (equivalent use class D1-D2, 4.1 Sugarhouse Studios 4.2 British Academy of New Music 4.3 Chain Reaction Theatre Co. 4.4 Urban Development 4.5 Kingsway International Christian Centre 4.6 The Miller’s House 4.7 Three Mills Studio Screening Rooms 4.8 Bow Church 4.9 Bow Baptist Church 4.10 Our Lady & St Catherine of Siena church 4.11 Bow Muslim Cultural Centre 4.12 Greenlight Youth Centre 4.13 Bow Arts 4.14 High Faith Christian Centre 4.15 Bromley By Bow Centre 4.16 Old Palace Primary School 4.17 Abbey Lane Nursery

5. Transport 5.1 Pudding Mill Lane DLR 5.2 Bus Stop 5.3 Mooring

6. Vacant / under construction X Vacant site / building

CONDITIONS


3.1

1.33

1.30

3.1 5.2

5.1

3.1

2.7 2.7 viii vii 2.7 xiv 2.7 2.7 xiii v 2.7 2.7 xii 2.7 2.7 iv 2.7 xi iii 2.7 2.7 x 2.7 ii ix xvi 2.7 2.7 i xv

3.1

2.7 vi

1.3

4.17

5.2 1.28

3.1

1.29

1.1

2.1 1.4 2.12

1.2 1.5

3.4

1.6 3.1

2.5

1.7

1.8

2.10

5.2 3.1

2.8 2.9

2.2

4.1

2.4

4.3

2.11 4.4

4.2 2.18 5.2 3.1

2.6 4.9

3.2

1.12 2.19

2.33

2.26

4.10

2.31 2.29 2.32 2.28 2.27 2.30 2.25 1.14

4.14

4.13 1.15 1.16

1.13

4.12

5.2

2.13

5.3 5.2

4.8

5.3

2.14

3.3 2.15

4.11

2.17 2.17

2.20

3.1

2.16

1.17

1.27

3.2

3.1 3.1 4.7

1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22

2.21 1.26 1.25 1.24

4.6

4.16

2.22

1.23

1.10

2.17 1.11

2.23 3.1 4.15 1.9

2.24

pAgE 57

MAkE, Don’T MAkE Do


Basket makers

Businesses Whilst no longer housing the sheer density of businesses as it did in the early 20th Century, the area still has much to offer as a home for industry. The affordable rents and generously proportioned spaces of the remaining B1 units in the area provide for a number of notable creative industries and specialist businesses. These span across print, construction, film, TV, furniture, food and recycling and include London’s largest woven goods supplier, Europe’s main Bangla TV station and a concentration of filmrelated businesses centred around 3 Mills film studios (CW Hire, Blitz Rigging, Diagon set builders, Light Armoury weaponry prop supplies). These varied uses are all served by the same basic building typology - light industrial sheds with generous ceiling heights of 4-6m. page 58

Sugarhouse Studios workshop

Mattex Carpets & Rugs wholesale CONDITIONS


Three Mills film studio

Diagon set builders page 59

Dacca Cash & Carry Make, Don’t Make Do


Working Yards The area contains a complex network of work-orientated yard spaces which offer a unique quality of semi-public space that supports the practical operation of their business tenants. The yards vary in size and their orientation towards rivers or roads, but in general they have an introverted and private character. The historic yards in the Sugarhouse Lane area have been wellrecognized for their heritage value, but equally of note are the more utilitarian spaces in Marshgate Lane and Cooks Road. These spaces not only provide a valuable service space for access and deliveries, but also a social space where links and relationships between businesses develop. This was best epitomized in the Sugarhouse Lane Business centre which until recently hosted a number of film-related service industries who regularly worked closely together in an informal supply chain. The yards offer a dynamic give and take space which allows interior uses to spill outdoors when extra space is needed or the weather suits, but which at other points in the day can be used for parking or unloading.

Sugarhouse Yard

Most importantly, these are spaces characterized by people at work and benefit from a degree of privacy. Their individual characters are largely defined by their tenancies; a walk down Cooks road is distinguished by the regular site of the loading and unloading of exotic foods (Dacca) and seeing enormous props under construction (Diagon), whereas Sugarhouse Yard offers a space for informal rehearsal, smoking and gathering for music students (British Academy of New Music) and the spill out of late night recording sessions (Urban Development). The yards also act as a buffer to the neighbours, reducing noise nuisance and activating the building frontage, which can otherwise seem hostile. page 60

Marshgate Lane Business Centre CONDITIONS


Sugarhouse Yard

Diagon Set Builders front yard

Diagon Set Builders’ outdoor work space page 61

Make, Don’t Make Do


Dane’s Yard

Courtyards Whilst the yards continue to be a well functioning and valuable asset in the support of a business community, new residential developments haven’t yet been able to provide an equivalent social space for incoming residents.

Danes Yard entrance from the High Street

Small networks are emerging within respective developments primarily operated through online social networks such as the Central House Facebook group, but these do not engage with neighbouring residents or developments. Similarly, there is also a lack of informal communal spaces in or between individual developments or on the street which could allow neighbours to meet, or play. Dane’s Yard is one of the few new outdoor spaces in the area that enjoys regular use - primarily by customers of Dane’s Yard Kitchen. page 62

Private riverside walk behind the Lock Building CONDITIONS


One Stratford courtyard.

One Stratford courtyard. page 63

Make, Don’t Make Do


Dane group building, Sugarhouse Lane

sugarhouse Lane conservation area Containing two of newham’s nine conservation sites, this is a special area of industrial heritage. Its qualities are thoroughly described in the ‘Sugar House Lane Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management proposals (2010)’. pAgE 64

one of the three chimneys in the conservation area

ConDITIonS


Sugarhouse Lane Conservation Area

pAgE 65

MAkE, Don’T MAkE Do


Sugarhouse Lane - a stretch of light industrial modern sheds, commonly built for distribution and storage, now also occupied by set builders, rigging companies and studios. Brick with metal ribbed exterior cladding.

RANI brick building on Stratford High Street

Industrial building stock Many of the industrial buildings outside of the conservation area are still of considerable note. Ranging from one storey brick sheds to multi storey brick factories these buildings, and in particular these clusters of industrial buildings are unique not only in Newham but are among the most important pieces of industrial heritage in London. page 66

Brickwork detail CONDITIONS


page 67

Make, Don’t Make Do


Central House fences off its luscious trees from the High Street

Dane’s Yard fences off its planting from the High Street

Green space greenery in the area generally falls under two categories: ruderal green space on the banks of canal or taking over vacant sites and formal planting on private land and in new developments. greenery on the High Street tends to be focused on screening from the road and is generally fenced off from the High Street. Bow Church gardens and corner planting on Abbey Lane (1km apart) are the only public green spaces which are visible and accessible from Stratford High Street. In the 1km between these spaces there is no street planting or trees. pAgE 68

Capricorn Estate Agents’ planting can be faintly glimpsed through their window

Jankhaar hanging flower baskets ConDITIonS


MADE GREEN SPACES

Public

public

Residential

Residential

Private private Planting boundaries

pAgE 69

MAkE, Don’T MAkE Do


View of Bromley by Bow North development site from Leycol Printers.

Vacancy As a result of ongoing development, considerable parts of the area lie vacant. This vacancy generally fall into two main categories: land which is awaiting development and commercial units in new developments which have attracted little market interest.

View of Strand East development site from One Stratford.

All of the new residential developments on the High Street include at least one empty ground floor A1-A4 unit, each measuring approximately 40m2, with 8m length of vacant frontage facing the street. This continued dead frontage adds to the perceived hostility of the area. The emptied buildings and large tracts of land enclosed by hoarding awaiting future change also significantly contribute to the area’s image as a ‘no man’s land’. One Stratford vacant units page 70

CONDITIONS


CURRENTLY UNOCCUPIED CURRENTLY UNOCCUPIED

Development site unoccupied Unoccupied units in built developments Development site unoccupied

Unoccupied site awaiting development Sites awaiting development Unoccupied site awaiting development Building Building Buildings

Strand East hoarding by Hunts Lane pAgE 71

MAkE, Don’T MAkE Do


3. PROPOSALS

page 72

PROPOSALS


page 73

Make, Don’t Make Do


Principles

page 74

1

Make the barrier a destination

2

Make uses visible on the High Street

3

Make the most of passing traffic

4

Make a coordinated public realm which retains diversity

5

Make use of vacant spaces

CONDITIONS


6

7

page 75

Make better links to Bromley By Bow

Make social spaces

8

Make the most of existing buildings, institutions and heritage

9

Make more affordable workspace

10

Make use of the process of change

Make, Don’t Make Do


1

Make the barrier a destination The Bow Flyover and Roundabout intersect incredibly diverse communities between Bow and Stratford. The structures are often associated with automobile dominance in the area and pedestrian and cyclist threat. With the current increase in residential population, the structures act as a division between neighbourhoods, a barrier to pedestrian movement and a disadvantage for new development. A shift of priority of these spaces is required so that they can be both safe and enjoyable for pedestrians and cyclists. Beyond junction realignments and cycle lane improvements, more radical action can be taken to positively integrate these spaces into the public realm. For example, the large vacant spaces underneath the flyover can house a modern equivalent of the workspaces often found underneath 19th century railway infrastructure. Similarly, given recently studies into decommissioning the flyover, it could be re-purposed to provide public amenity as a striking and positive gateway between Newham and Tower Hamlets.

2

Make uses visible on the High Street High street frontages and footways should be used to make evident the diversity of activity that takes place both on the high street and in the roads, yards and wharfs behind it. Bringing the uses that currently happen behind closed doors into public view with signage and visual prompts can improve legibility, revealing more to the visitor and dispersing the sense that nothing happens in the area. This can make for a more amenable public realm, supporting local activities and reinforcing the sense of the High Street as the shared foreground for the area. Enhanced frontages can also positively influence the future development of the area – where active signs of existing use act as a prompts for encouraging more future uses.

3

Make the most out of passing traffic As the area continues to shift towards greater residential density, the problems the A11 causes in terms of pedestrian access, noise and pollution will be increasingly felt. Whilst traffic calming measures and pedestrian crossings can and should be introduced, the road’s importance as a strategic route will remain and as such many of these problems will linger on. However, the 40,000 cars that pass everyday present a clear opportunity to offset some of the road’s negative impacts, using it to support activity in the area rather than hinder it. Lucrative advertising billboards can provide ongoing revenue to support local amenities, and car-orientated signage can support local businesses and attract visitors from far afield.

4

Make a coordinated public realm which retains diversity In order accommodate the large influx of residents over the next decade, a coherent strategy for the public realm is required that links yards, courtyards, towpath, high street and the numerous planned developments. Many developments and business areas face inwards and have poor connections to the high street. Public space and pavements in the area should offer coherent foreground for the range of spaces accessed off it, providing new planting, wayfinding and amenity on the high street. Key to generating a wider identity for the area, the character of public realm should be derived from the area’s diverse uses, existing assets and immediate adjacencies.

5

Make use of vacant spaces The large proportion of vacant sites present significant opportunities that can be capitalised on for local benefit. Temporary uses can positively influence development by establishing amenities for a future constituency. Meanwhile leases on empty commercial units on the High Street can provide startup opportunities for businesses, creative workspace and introduce new life on the high street. Larger sites can provide opportunity for hosting events, uses and amenities. These can not only provide local benefit in the short-term but add significant value to developments in the long-term, establishing a clear sense of character, audience and local investment prior to completion. Whilst each site has an associated time limitation, they are a considerable short-term asset that if well utilized, could have considerable long-term benefits for the area.

page 76

PROPOSALS


6

Make better links to Bromley By Bow Despite the significant perception of distance and difference between Stratford High Street and Bromley by Bow, both areas have a lot to offer each other. Industrial buildings like Sugarhouse have space to spare, with close access to the canal, proximity to creative industries and visible industrial heritage. The dense Bromley by bow offers a committed community, voluntary and creative organisations, food and shopping opportunities and attracts a significant local audience. Uses and spaces should be introduced that create more reasons to cross the A12, but equally opportunities should be made for shared large scale events that can draw residents and businesses of both areas together. The area’s perceived image as a ‘no-mans-land’ can itself be an extraordinary opportunity for creating an uncontested space between diverse user groups.

7

Make social spaces Opportunities should be made in and between developments to provide social spaces – an opportunity to meet your neighbours, develop shared causes and where nascent communities can grow. The Yard typology has illustrated a successful model that should be built on and enhanced, to create a series of distinct coexisting semipublic spaces that draw out their adjacent uses. These should be supplemented with routes and shared spaces that can appeal to a wide range of both residents and businesses. As touched on in previous principles, the area’s availability of large open spaces offer real opportunity for spectacular, large scale events that can be opportunities to gather the entire neighbourhood.

8

9

Make the most of existing buildings, institutions and heritage It is clear that there are many problems in the area which are related to perception and there is a significant gap between how most people see the area and what it actually offers. The significant assets of the area in terms of heritage, the canal, local businesses and creative industries should be drawn out, celebrated and promoted as a key part of developing a more positive identity for the area. Highlighting assets such as 3 Mills through a film festival can not only give something for local residents to do in their area but promote the area to a wider audience. Make more affordable workspace With the increase of residential development in the area, it is important that this does not displace the existing business and creative uses which have long benefitted from their location in the area. The areas around Marshgate lane business estate and Cooks road should in particular be supported – providing a significant concentration of businesses and employment opportunities in the area. The LLDC interim use sites should be used to densify these uses and create a greater critical mass of activity that can act to protect these uses. Any provision of new B1 space should learn from the existing building stock – providing ceiling heights between 3-5m, large openings on the ground floor and be top lit where possible. Make use of the process of change

10

page 77

As an important part of retaining the area’s heritage and character, new development should seek to retain existing yard footprints and building fabric wherever possible – adding or extending them if necessary to meet required densities. Where demolition is unavoidable, the building material should be harnessed as a considerable asset for projects in the area. The granite cobbles, London stock bricks and timber flooring of many of the historic buildings and yards should be reclaimed and re-used.

Make, Don’t Make Do


Key to projects

project principles See the principles pages for a full list and explanation of the icons.

project status

project location in the study area

concept in development on going completed

project timescale

project budget

£££££ £££££ £££££ £££££ £££££ £££££+

up to

£10,000

up to

£50,000

up to

£250,000

up to

£500,000

up to

£1,000,000

up to

£1,000,000+

0-3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months 1-2 years > 2 years

Project name ?

Landowner/ Site Manager

£££££

project description

project location Collaborators Funding

pAgE 78

pRopoSALS


page 79

Make, Don’t Make Do


sugarhouse studios X

LLDC/Landprop

£££££

Sugarhouse Studios occupies a formerly derelict light industrial building in Sugarhouse Yard. The front half of the building is a public space, and its facilities, which include exhibition and event space, kitchen, cafe / bar and dining room both host programmed events and are available for low-cost hire to nearby organisations. The back half of the building is occupied with office, studio and workshop space, providing a background of production and creativity upon which the foreground of the public facility is built.

Collaborators: Funding:

pAgE 80

Various LLDC grant funding, on-going revenue from front-of-house uses, and supplemented by revenue from private practice.

pRopoSALS


office Sugarhouse Studios workshop

cinema

to Stratford High Street

bar cafe + pizzeria Sugarhouse Yard

main entrance

RANI

carpark

page 81

Make, Don’t Make Do


Yardhouse X

LLDC/Landprop

£££££

Yardhouse sets out to provide a new model for affordable workspace that operates in a new-build scenario. The Yardhouse aims to be completed for 20% of the average cost of new build per square foot, so that these savings can be passed onto tenants. Based on a modular design using off the shelf components, it will be demountable and thus provide a replicable model for providing affordable work space, even in the context of relatively short term interim use. Through its relationship with Sugarhouse Studios, Yardhouse aims explore and demonstrate the potential of retaining mixed productive uses in the yards and courtyards around Sugarhouse Lane and Marshgate Lane. Revenue from the studios will fund a programme of events, exhibitions and workshops in Sugarhouse Studios. Tenants can elect to pay a significant proportion of their rent in-kind, through activities that contribute to the public activities in Sugarhouse. Collaborators: Funding:

pAgE 82

LLDC, Landprop, Assemble LLDC, Assemble

pRopoSALS


Sugarhouse Studios

Yardhouse decorative facade and main entrance

Sugarhouse Yard

page 83

Make, Don’t Make Do


Flyover street Party LBn/TfL/LBTH

£££££

Flyover Street party proposes to close the flyover for a day and host a spectacular event that can draw together surrounding cultural, social and community activities. Whilst the road network has long acted as a barrier between residents of Bow and Stratford, it can also act quite literally as a ‘bridge’ between the areas. The event can not only act to shift public perception of the structure, but open up positive discussions as to the future of the flyover and TFL’s longer term plans for the junction.

Collaborators: Funding:

pAgE 84

LLDC, TfL, LBn, LBTH, Sustrans, Bow Arts Trust, BBBC, Stratford Rising, Stratford Renaissance partnership, residents associations, Simon Terrill LLDC

pRopoSALS


long feasttable spanning the central reservation

mini marathon

fashion show trading stalls

Bow Flyover

page 85

Make, Don’t Make Do


Undercroft Workspace X

LBn/TfL/LBTH

£££££

Undercroft Workspace is a proposal to take advantage of the 1000m2 of vacant space under the Bow Interchange Flyover to create a cluster of affordable business units, as a modern equivalent to the thousands of business units occupying railway arches in London. providing a mixture of enclosed spaces and covered yards with an average headroom of 5m, the undercroft is suitable for workshop/ studio and other B1 and creative uses, and at an average size of 20m2 each, approximately 30 units could be created. The successful occupation of these affordable units would provide significant benefit to the High Street, where for this stretch a narrower, two sided street would be created. proposals are dependent on TFL’s introduction of junction improvements and crossings.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 86

TfL, LB n, LB TH, LLDC, workspace provider, Bow Arts Leaside Regeneration, Space studios, poplar Harca, Urban Space Management, Workspace, Acme studios

pRopoSALS


Bow Flyover workspace craft shop

workspace

Bow Hand Car Wash

page 87

Make, Don’t Make Do


Really High street LBn/TfL/LBTH

£££££+

Really High Street is a proposal to re-use Bow Interchange Flyover as a new elevated high street after its planned decommission in 2025-35. Re-use would offer a lower cost alternative to demolition, both conserving the energy embodied in the infrastructure and providing an extraordinary local amenity with up to 8000m2 of new development space, all with spectacular views. Really High Street offers the very rare opportunity to make a new landmark that builds on the area’s development, transforming what has long been a blight for surrounding residents into a real asset.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 88

TfL, LBn, LBTH, LLDC, gLA, various others gLA

pRopoSALS


bank

GP

school

workspace affordable housing

page 89

Flyover Street

Make, Don’t Make Do


Learning from stratford High street Various X

£££££

Using film as a tool for both observation and investigation, ‘LfSH’ is a proposal to work with young people in Bromley by Bow to document the development of the Stratford High Street area. Interviewing the wide range of involved parties - from existing businesses to incoming residents, local planners to developers, construction workers to estate agents, they would learn about how the area is changing and use film to be able to draw their own conclusions. Working from the Three Mills film studios, the documentary will not only be a way of building links between the area and Bromley by Bow but also a valuable learning experience about the film industry.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 90

Three Mills Studios, BBBC, UEL, relevant developers and landowners, LLDC, TfL, LBTH, LBn, and many more UEL, UCL planning, nesta, Social action fund

pRopoSALS


ord

atf

Str h Hig eet

Str

video camera

page 91

building rooftop

Make, Don’t Make Do


Made in three Mills Three Mills Studios

X X

£££££

Made in Three Mills is a proposal to create an annual festival to celebrate one of the area’s most significant and often overlooked assets, 3 Mills Studios - the only film production studios inside the M25. This follows on from the success of the inaugural 2012 festival, which opened up the site to many local residents for the first time with studio tours, puppetry and animation workshops, day time family screenings and evening events. The festival offered work placement to a nominated Youth Champion for the neighbouring greenlight Youth Center. As the festival grows, it should expand to celebrate both wider production on the 3 Mills Site, such as prop-making, special affects and costuming. Collaborators: Funding:

pAgE 92

Three Mills Studios, Assemble, greenlight Youth Centre, grace pattison A Thousand Heads

pRopoSALS


festival ticket holder

passer by

‘THIS WAY TO THREE MILLS FILM FESTIVAL’

page 93

Make, Don’t Make Do


Live from Bow X

Assemble

£££££

Live from Bow is a proposal to take advantage of the proximity of the headquarters of Bangla TV, Europe’s largest Bangladeshi language TV channel to develop stronger relationships within large Bangladeshi community resident on the south west side of the Bow Interchange. Live broadcasts and recorded audience events can be hosted both in public spaces in and around the fringes of the olympic park. Used simultaneously as a communication tool and as events in there own right, the broadcasts will be used to celebrate the role of the Europe’s densest Bangladeshi community in area’s character. It will start to build relationships through which this community can take a more active role in defining the areas future.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 94

Bangla TV, BBBC, poplar Harca, Bow Arts, Diagon Set Builders poplar Harca, Bangla TV

pRopoSALS


page 95

Make, Don’t Make Do


Welcome to stratford High st Various

£££££

Welcome to Stratford High Street is a proposal to create a portable guide to the area for incoming residents. This would cover everything from industrial heritage to the closest places to get a cup of tea, walk the dog or get a pint of milk. Documenting the variety and density of uses off the high street it will act as a way of challenging perception of the area as a ‘no mans land’ and make sure new residents make the most of what is already there.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 96

Various Local businesses, developers, local authorities

pRopoSALS


Flaneur

Area Guide

page 97

Make, Don’t Make Do


central House De-fence X

Barratt Homes

£££££

This is a simple proposal to remove the fence outside Central House, making the building feel much more part of the High Street. Existing trees behind the fence would have more direct benefit to passing pedestrians and the low brick wall underneath can act as seating and overspill from the adjacent the bus stop.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 98

LBn, Barrats LBn, Barrats

pRopoSALS


Central House

No Fence

luscious trees

low wall rd

atfo

Str

page 99

h Hig

eet

Str

Make, Don’t Make Do


Fitting trees X XXXX XXX XX XXX

Various

£££££

There is significant scope for improving the pedestrian environment along the High Street with new tree planting and green amenities. The choice and handling of planting should be used to counter the existing monotony of pedestrian environment and celebrate a diversity of uses along the High Street. planting should be designed in close relation to the use and access adjacencies of its location – both current and proposed. In this way, the planting strategy can celebrate and enhance existing uses, give glimpses of future changes and improve the legibility of the High Street. Where, for example, residential entrances are announced by a pool of cherry blossom, access to the towpath is signaled by the spread of the canal ecology into the highway and trees that will mark the entrances of new public spaces are planted now rather than later. potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 100

Various LLDC, LBn, Rendal & Rittner, Bellway Homes, Jestico + Whiles, Landprop, Trovit property, Landprop, East Thames

pRopoSALS


Alder

Cherry blossom

London Plane

Birch

Lodon Plane

Cherry Blossom

Palm

page 101

Make, Don’t Make Do


signs of Life one stratford XX

XX

Rendal & Rittner

£££££

This project intends to reveal and celebrate the diversity hidden in yards, lanes and developments and bring them into public view on the high street, both as a way of improving the pedestrian experience and as prompts for increased activity. The project will start by delivering a 100m specimen area, the frontage of the recent one Stratford development. Containing a significant number of residential units, unused ground floor commercial units and access to a courtyard garden, it is characteristic of the qualities and challenges facing the area. This specimen area is intended to initiate the momentum that can lead to further improvements along the full length of the High Street, both providing a demonstration of the latent potential of the area’s public space and a precedent for existing and incoming development to adopt. potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 102

Rendal & Rittner, one Stratford tenants, growing Concerns, LBn, Building Crafts College, Rendal & Rittner

pRopoSALS


posed

6

Trees to mark entrance to courtyard garden.

2

Corner seating and improved signage

1

Extended planting pits along edge of footway

ed planting pits along edge of footway. Refer to tree guidance for 2 no. additional trees in resin-bound pits in centre of footway to break perspective. o mark entrance to courtyard garden. Species and raised planters to existing in courtyard. tive paving at residential and commercial entrances. g at residential entrances incl. one mature cherry tree per entrance. dging to match existing building, planting undertaken as workshop with ts. on of empty shop units, programmed with Bow Arts & Greenlight Youth

seating and improved signage at entrance to courtyard garden

pAgE 103

3

4

Decorative paving at residential and commercial entrances. planting at residential entrances

5

Activation of empty shop units

MAkE, Don’T MAkE Do


Potty about Planting XXX

Various

£££££

X

Starting life as public workshops in Sugarhouse Studios, the project will demonstrate how to make cheap and robust DIY plant pots with demolition waste. The pots will then be filled, with some taken home by residents to put on their balconies and others distributed along the High Street. Collectively, these will both help green the area and introduce a greater perception of domesticity and care. En-masse, the thousands of plant pots filling the High Street will create a surreal sight for passing motorists.

potential collaborators potential funding

pAgE 104

Various

Capital growth, Edible east

pRopoSALS


pot pot pot pot

pot pot pot pot pot pot pot pot pot potpot pot pot

pot

pot

pot potpot

pot pot pot artists studios

Sugarhouse Studios

t

ee

ig

dH

or atf

tr hS

Str

page 105

Make, Don’t Make Do


Pitch Up X

X

LLDC

£££££

pitch Up is a proposal to occupy one of the LLDC’s interim use sites with a 5-a-side football facility. Bromley-by-Bow’s largest and most active community organisation, BBBCo, revolves around football, and they use football as a way of bringing people in to provide other services - such as informal women’s support groups and youth outreach work. However, suitable facilities are scarce. The club currently runs over twenty hours a week of training and friendly matches in a primary school carpark. pitch Up proposes to take advantage of the interim use sites location on the DLR to team up with a commercial astroturf pitch provider such as powerleague to deliver and manage a facility which is large enough to be self-sustaining and economically viable in a 10 - 15 year time frame, and also provide enough surplus for the maintenance and management for a community pitch and club house for BBBCo. potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 106

LLDC, BBBCo powerleague, powerleague, poplar Harca

pRopoSALS


The Clubhouse

5-aside football pitches

page 107

Make, Don’t Make Do


the Garden of e15 X

Landprop

£££££

The garden of E15 is a proposal to maximise the benefit of empty development sites and the long development process to introduce a plant and tree nursery. The nursery will stock semi-mature plants to be used in future landscape works on the site, reducing capital costs by allowing plants to be procured several years younger, whilst also providing a greener landscape in the interim. It also offers significant opportunity to engage with the existing gardening and planting groups in the Bromley-by-Bow area. given the roadside location, management of the nursery could be undertaken by a commercial operator, acting as an interim use garden centre by selling plants and materials to passing motorists.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 108

Landprop, West Ham allotments, Three Mills mooring association, Arc-ML, landscape consultants, groundwork Uk/Edible East, Capital growth, BBBC Landprop, Capital growth

pRopoSALS


Greenhouse plant nursery garden pots

potted plating

tree nursery

ord atf r t S eet Str new public realm straight from the Garden Centre

page 109

h

Hig

r

ove

ly wF

Bo

Make, Don’t Make Do


temporary common X

Landprop

£££££

This is a proposal to take advantage of one of the surrounding vacant developments sites as an open air communal space that can host a variety of temporary, informal and spectacular events, acting something like Stratford High Street’s answer to the village green. Events should make the most of the sheer scale of the sites and the proximity to the road network by hosting events that will attract local residents and visitors alike - such as car-boot sales and outdoor cinema screenings. The activities can not only encourage positive ownership of future development sites but can also be a useful source of revenue in the short term - providing an alternative to S106, where money generated through events can fund other small projects in the area. potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 110

Landprop, BBBC, Bow Arts, SRp, Building Crafts College, Carboot Junction Spacehive, Landprop

pRopoSALS


carboot sale

cafe

rd tfo a t r St ree St

page 111

gh

Hi

Make, Don’t Make Do


Garage sale X

TfL

£££££

Activating the stretch of High Street Between Abbey Lane and the greenway, small startup business units could be introduced that replace an existing 2m brick wall. These prefab units would be placed on the row of car garages hidden behind the wall, utilising the existing level change to open directly onto the pavement level.

potential collaborators potential funding

pAgE 112

Marshgate Lane Business Centre, Individual businesses off the High Street, Stratford Renaissance partnership This project is a commercial venture

pRopoSALS


workspace

car garage

page 113

Make, Don’t Make Do


Meanwhile shopfronts XX XX

Rendal & Rittner/ Bellway Homes

£££££

Meanwhile Shopfronts is a proposal to kick-start the use of the numerous empty shopfront units up and down Stratford High Street, many of which been empty for over 5 years. This project will aim to directly address some of the reasons why these units have not attracted traditional commercial tenants, such as lack of footfall and scarcity of neighbouring shops, to explore different options for how they might be brought into use. Working with developers to offer extended meanwhile tenancies, tenants will be sought who are able to offer amenity to the street but are not dependant on passing trade, either offering a niche ‘destination’ product, internet business with trade counter or using their street-frontage for something other than retail - where appropriate time-limited planning permission would be sought.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 114

Rendal & Rittner, Bellway Homes, Trovit property; Bow Arts Trust, BBBC, Sugarhouse Lane businesses, BCC, greenlight Youth Centre Rendal & Rittner, Bellway Homes, Trovit property

pRopoSALS


young craftsman’s furniture shop

page 115

bespoke display furniture

Make, Don’t Make Do


Billboard Building X

LLDC

£££££

Responding to one of the area’s key assets, Billboard Building is a proposal to capitalise on the high levels of traffic on the A11 to create a flexible model for affordability. The billboard building would be clad with advertising space, and the income generated used to subsidise uses within - whether they are affordable workspace or community uses. The Billboard Building can be used to screen areas set further back from the road from the negative environmental impacts of an arterial roadway, whilst creating useful facilities that benefit from its by-products. The LLDC-owned site on Rick Roberts Way would be an ideal site, where up to 100m of frontage to Stratford High Street could be exploited.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 116

Various phased construction and funding through ad income, Various

pRopoSALS


affordable space

billboard

page 117

Make, Don’t Make Do


Roundabout Business X

TfL

£££££

The Bow Roundabout is a central node between Bow Road, A11 and A12, however its new sculpture which spells out ‘BoW’ does not communicate much about the diversity or qualities of these adjacent areas. Roundabout Business will be an initiative offering space on the roundabout to local businesses, to showcase what they have to offer and to make the most of the large audience of the road to support them.

potential collaborators potential funding

pAgE 118

Marshgate Lane Business Centre, Individual businesses off the High Street, Stratford Renaissance partnership Commercial venture

pRopoSALS


Bow Roundabout

page 119

Make, Don’t Make Do


Heritage Billboard X

Landprop

£££££

Roadside advertising presents a simple way to encourage better public recognition of the area’s rich history and assets. Thousands drive through the area every day, with little knowledge of the proximity of 3 Mills, Abbey Mills, The gas works or even the Canal. This project proposes several large scale advertisements along the A11 that would borrow the established language of glossy visuals and snappy catchphrases from the surrounding billboards and film posters in the area to celebrate local heritage and culture.

potential collaborators potential funding

pAgE 120

English Heritage, relevant landowners, TfL English Heritage

pRopoSALS


fake film poster

page 121

Make, Don’t Make Do


Hoarding opportunity XX

East Thames / Southern Housing

£££££

An interim use for the East Thames site alongside Tesco, Hoarding opportunity is a proposal to make small re-alignments to the existing hoardings to create spaces alongside the pavement that can be let as affordable commercial opportunities for local businesses. Requiring minimal capital costs, the project offers the opportunity to replace the long stretch of hoarding with something that directly benefits the street and takes advantage of the captive audience en-route to Tesco.

potential collaborators: potential funding:

pAgE 122

East Thames group, Southern Housing group, LBn

pRopoSALS


fence

Tesco

A12

page 123

Make, Don’t Make Do


Wayfinding, our Way LB n/LLDC

£££££

Wayfinding, our Way is proposal to create a set of wayfinding tools to link infrastructure, localities and businesses, developed and delivered with local set builders and sign makers. The strategy would set out to both improve basic pedestrian wayfinding in area helping people navigate between the Canal, High Street, Bow, Stratford and Three Mills - whilst simultaneously revealing the finer grain of yards, businesses estates and uses hidden behind the High Street.

potential collaborators: potential funding;

pAgE 124

Cutting Edge set builders, k1 graphics, Diagon set builders LBn, LLDC

pRopoSALS


empty shop front signage ca

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Stratford

page 125

Make, Don’t Make Do


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Make, Don't Make Do  

Make, Don’t Make Do is an ongoing research project exploring how more people can have a hands-on role in changes to their surrounding built...

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