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Tech-Knowledge Neighbourhood: Towards industrial Urbanity


Tech-Knowledge Neighbourhood

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Open Block

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From Shed to Industrial Urbanity

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Reshuffling the Interior

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Transforming the Type

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Exploring the Deep Plan

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Outcome

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“This work contains no answers, but seeks to ask the right questions and to draw out further discussion.” Fumihiko Maki – Collective Form Essay


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TECH-KNOWLEDGE NEIGHBOURHOOD


TECH-KNOWLEDGE NEIGHBOURHOOD

The Ambition for Lower Lea Valley

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Cities have been the centre of world economies for centuries, yet the combination of spatial dispersion and global integration has created a new strategic role for them. These strategic roles of the city must be understood not only as highly concentrated points in the world economy, but as key locations for finance and specialized firms. Cities are the site of the production of goods, as well as the production of innovation, and the city center performs the key role by creating the market which ties these elements together. The synthesis between the market, the demand for production, and the innovation sector are the key components of the knowledge-based economy.


[2]

Yet, in the middle of the 20th century, the industries associated with the production of goods were relocated to the outlying, peripheral areas of the city. Recently, due to economic conditions and technological innovation, the formerly peripheral areas of production are responding to the rapid change in demands of the market by realizing the potentials which are associated with being well connected to the city center. The formerly peripheral areas need to combine production with innovation to develop a reflexive relationship with the city center in order to maximize the value of both areas.

[3]

[4] Lower Lea Valley (1).Hamburg (2). Bilbao (3). Amsterdam (4).

[1]

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TECH-KNOWLEDGE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Our projective vision of the city is not about encouraging an ever growing centre, whereby the division between centre and periphery is apparent. By recognizing the characteristics of the broader site, we find more possibilities of integrating the city centre and the periphery.

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The Lower Lea Valley (LLV) is located at the intersection of financial centres, specialized services, and innovation and production markets, which contributes to the synthesis between knowledge and the market for which the products are produced. At the same time, we imagine the engagement between the industries and their neighbourhood to constitute the next generation industrial environment, or a “Tech-Knowledge Neighbourhood”. The neighbourhood would support an innovative industrial sector at a local scale and be part of a high-tech exchange at a regional one. Based on a multiple stakeholders’ strategy, this development should facilitate low risk investments and can be implemented through a phased process.


With a close relationship between the production and science-based industries, the area would also integrate living and working facilities to promote a collective engagement into the private sector. In fact, the workspace environment will support “the interaction among strangers� and by highlighting the heterogeneous character of the region, propose a strong set of differentiated urban areas that could establish its integrated role within the urban metropolis.

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While the LLV is a peripheral area of London, it contains conditions which can perform as key drivers of the envisioned “Tech-knowledge Neighbourhood�. Our design approach utilizes the hidden potentials of these diverse characteristics of the area.

[1]

TECH-KNOWLEDGE NEIGHBOURHOOD

[3]

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[2]

Primarily, the mobility system needs to be explored in a multi-scalar way. The LLV is highly served by transport infrastructures, such as roads, railway and underground lines, and benefits from relatively close connections to vibrant areas such as the Docklands and Stratford. At the same time, the strategic location at a regional and national scale, locates the area within the technology corridor stretching out towards Cambridge. On the other hand, even though its smaller areas are characterized by street patterns, they do not rely on the street as the driver of their urban activities due to the existing deep parcels and the lack of critical mass. This leads us to question the significance of the street itself in such an industrial fabric. The ground needs to be more than delivery for trucks and has to be designed as a high quality environment where people co-exist with services and goods.


Those affinities of movements within the urban fabric could be supported by the definition of a grid pattern that allows establishing a framework for differentiation and hierarchy.

[5]

[4] Technology corridor to Cambridge (1),(4). LLV: Sugar House Lane and Prologis (3), Existing patterns of movement (2),(5),(6).

[6]

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[1]

TECH-KNOWLEDGE NEIGHBOURHOOD

[2]

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The waterways also play a determinant role in the rethinking of the area for two important reasons. First, they are linked to the industrial sector; food production, material development and waste management have indeed a keen relationship to water technologies. Secondly, perhaps even more relevant in terms of the immediate project, is the value of the water in a recreational system as it can be quite beneficial in attracting talented workers to the area. Therefore, the water system and the recreational facilities it can offer as part of a high quality urban landscape are a key element to cultivate and trigger the knowledge sector of the area.


[3] Waterways in Lower Lea Valley (1),(2). Leisure activities: jogging (3),kayaking (4).

[4]

“The waterfront has to serve as front yard and service alley, cultural stage and civic space, playground and profit center.� R. Gastil

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TECH-KNOWLEDGE NEIGHBOURHOOD 18

Raymond Gastil asserts: “The waterfront has to serve as front yard and service alley, cultural stage and civic space, playground and profit center” . This necessary contrast allows us to focus the development on specific points where further intensity can be envisioned due to their spatial qualities, while releasing the ‘urban pressure’ on others. If we juxtapose this idea with Koolhaas’ understanding of movement , the waterways are no longer considered a channel of linear movement, but as a field enabling a series of activities. Both Gastil’s and Koolhaas’ points of view suggest a cross-layering of actions and movements, emphasizing the differentiation along the waterways of LLV. As a result, the presence of the water would not only be considered parallel to its natural flow, northsouth, but also in a transversal way by establishing several east-west transitions between adjacent neighbourhoods.

[1]


[4]

[2]

LLV is a fundamental component of the future of London as demonstrated by the location of the Olympic Headquarters. (5), Unfortunately, the Olympic Legacy Plan lacks a great ambition. Moreover, in the Design for London Plan, many of the key actors in the LLV have not been integrated in the discussion.

With this perspective, the potentials in the area also contain existing talent and creative industries as well as the grain within the fabric which supports the type of enterprises which are beneficial to the development of the next generation industrial neighbourhood. The implementation of new types and of emerging innovation clusters constitutes our fundamental approach. It is by redefining the diverse parameters and conditions which influence our strategies and will lead us to the understanding of how industrial urbanity can be conceived in the LLV. In order to further develop our research and because of the prodigious size of the entire valley, we propose to work on two adjacent areas of the LLV: the Sugar House Lane (SHL) and the Prologis site.

[5]

Use of water in food production (1). Toronto recreational areas (2). Proposed recreational area in LLV (4).

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“As opposed to an approach to town planning based on an initial larger-scale approach using a fixed “site-plan”, I started from the block, the building, the relations between two buildings and the interface between two blocks. It is from here that I felt there was a focal point from which to rethink our urban forms.” Christian de Portzamparc


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OPEN BLOCK


[1]

To produce a dynamic urban area for our “Tech-knowledge Neighbourhood”, our research leads to a typological reasoning exploration into the concept of the “open block” developed by Christian de Portzamparc. We were able to generate very precise outcomes by employing a method rather than a master plan to address the site in a multi-scalar way.

OPEN BLOCK

Rive Gauche - Paris - new typologies (1), land use plan (2), fenced courtyards (3).

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The “open block” is a set of independent entities that nevertheless can coexist together, expressing their differences. It performs as an assemblage, that is, the whole is intended to be greater than the sum of its parts. This is a concept that was previously developed by de Portzamparc through individual projects (Les Hautes Formes - 1978), but had to wait until the Rive Gauche project in Paris to make the concept relevant; to “let the morphology reveal itself.” [2]


Hypothetically, an open block plan is based on the principle of heterogeneity, an acceptance that each block could be able to incorporate different functions, architectural styles and stakeholders. The plan works on the idea of redefining a street-based system logic while, on the ground floor, the porosity of this element begins to define a clear relationship between the private interior and the public exterior. However, a visit to the project reveals the failure of this approach. Conditioning the idea to a housing-based land-use plan precluded the potential of a mix-used environment, leading to the fencing of the inner domestic courtyards.

On the other hand, the relationship between each building is not limited to the ground. The virtual envelope of each building was preconceived with courtyards and open spaces at different levels, enabling possible relationships at multiple layers. This reveals an unexplored potential at Rive Gauche as we study it as a morphological-based plan instead. However, a plan based on the pure repetition of the open block, which does not rely on the street for urban life, can lack a clear definition of hierarchy. How can we establish patterns of hierarchy across a sizeable urban area utilizing the open block system?

[3]

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OPEN BLOCK


“The opening of the block has two characteristics. One volumetric (light and flows, space between buildings, courtyards, voids, and street), the other, aesthetic (opening to diversity, the future, unknown architectures).� Christian de Portzamparc

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“Rather than “definite confines”, boundaries are “possible concessions”. Kazuyo Sejima

[1]

[2]

OPEN BLOCK

Following de Portzamparc’s understanding that “it is first necessary to tackle the architectural issue to aspire to rethinking the city in a different manner” we explored the work of SANAA, a firm which is also working through large fragments of the city, rather than through dispersed objects. The Japanese office has been working to blur the boundaries between the city and the interior space.

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Through an obstinate typological exploration of projects, regardless of neither scale nor programmatic origin, they were able to derive a composition of several pieces that are able to work as a whole, and vice-versa; as an assemblage.

[3]


If we accept type is an idea , we can see the type SANAA is working with could take the form of a house (Moriyama 2005), a museum (Towada 2008) or a multifunctional building (Serralves Foundation 2007). Furthermore, it could even be interpreted that the multifunctional block is what fosters heterogeneity and diversity. The apparently random distribution among the set is not arbitrary at all, but is intended to produce flexible and unpredictable events within, while defining perimeters and differentiation between interior spaces.

“Thinking through type allows the architect to reach the essence of the element in question, rather than using it as model to be copied. “ Chris Lee

Towada Museum (1), Moriyama House (2), Okurayama Apartments (3), Moriyama House (4), Serralves Foundation (5).

[4]

[5]

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“For an architectural artefact to have any effect on the urban context, a breach of scale has to be instigated (...) modifying the deep structure of the dominant type in response to the urban context, working towards a reciprocal, cross-scalar co-evolution of type and urban plan.� Chris Lee

cooking

sleeping

studying

working

OPEN BLOCK

eating

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reading sleeping


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Adamant that each sub-area of the LLV should be singularly characterized, we have chosen the Sugar House Lane (SHL) site as the testing field for the concept. In a place where it is not possible to reproduce conditions of central urban areas, this work explores the idea of creating a workspace neighborhood with a contemporary fabric that cannot rely on the classical street-based system.

“There is no better place to begin this process of reasoning than type´s “natural habitat” – the urban environment, where typological change is directed by the pressures of economic, political and social forces, absorbed, reflected, and deflected through the deep structure of the type” Chris Lee

Sugar House Lane aerial view (1), Plan Voisin - Paris (2), Patio House - Chimbote (3), SHL Plan (4).

OPEN BLOCK

[1]

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When we superimpose the first diagram over the SHL site, “questions of judgment (why the type should change?) and power (how it should change?) need to be tackled simultaneously”. Does the street matter? How do we create hierarchy or orientation? Is it just a matter of spreading individual buildings or should we think about the pockets that may cluster them? How do we define the space in-between them? The existing conditions, the aforementioned drivers of the design approach are the key parameters which will allow us to progressively modify the initial diagram within the application of the Open Block type on SHL.


[2]

[3]

[4]

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OPEN BLOCK


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Sugar House Lane - addressing the water (1), Basel - soft edge view (2), SHL addressing the water - detail (3), Hafen City - soft edge (4), east strip of SHL (5), working parallel to te water (6), working perpendicular to the water (7), Borneo - Amsterdam (8), Utrecht (9).

By exploring the Hafencity plan, we have developed a strategy on how to gain hierarchy among a set of basic blocks with the existence of the waterfront. At SHL, both sides of the waterways, east and west, present different qualities which allow the type to address them in dissimilar ways. The heterogeneous topography of the west side suggests the creation of open spaces of different hierarchy to take advantage of a better orientation. As in Hafencity or Basel, the edge is softened in order to strengthen the link with the water, emphasizing the activities along it. At SHL, the blocks located next to the water are designed with more porosity and scale differentiation.

[2]

OPEN BLOCK

[3]

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[1]

[4]


Towards the east, with an existing walkway and a park on the opposite side of the canal, conditions change and blocks can be pushed along the water. Utrecht and Borneo waterfacing strategies could be significant examples. These strategies with the water can be seen in Utrecht and Borneo as well. In addition to the waterways, a third boundary is constituted on SHL by the A11 highway. Due to the undulating elevation of the road, the approach to this edge cannot be uniform but must vary according to the height. Different sizes of plots as well as orientations are introduced to respond to the specificity of this edge.

[6]

[7]

[8]

[5]

[9]

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OPEN BLOCK


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[2]

[1]

[3]

OPEN BLOCK

The role of existing cultural-civic clusters in the existing fabric, such as University Paris 7 at Rive Gauche and Court Saint Emilion at Bercy, are key drivers in the developments. With the SESC Pompeia, Lina Bo Bardi has generated a cultural-civic cluster based on the reuse of old industrial structures while keeping the existing fabric and street organization in order to give coherence and consistence to the whole.

40 [4]


[6]

In SANAA´s Serralves Multifunctional Building proposal, the office included an existing textile factory which established the scale of not only the new assemblage, but also of the surrounding blocks. With many sites in the LLV, the SHL holds several clusters of industrial heritage which have the potential to become cultural nuclei performing as central points of intensity.

[5]

[7]

Court Saint Emilion (1), Universite Paris 7-Rive Gauche (2), Serralves Building- Porto (3), SESC Pompeia - Sao Paulo (4), SHL industrial cluster (5), (6), (7).

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If we think of the existing cultural center as an area that is able to affect not only the SHL but a larger population, the question becomes: how can the organization of the site facilitate the role of the cultural center in relation to the surrounding areas?

OPEN BLOCK

Following our layered understanding of movement near waterways, an east-west strategy appears the most compelling. This approach uses SHL to link Tower Hamlet and Mills Mead, the two adjacent neighbourhoods. The overlapping of different movements highlights the multi-scalarity of the site and becomes a layered mobility system which acknowledges that pedestrians, cyclists and cars move differently.

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[1]


Cross layered movement (1), East-West strategy (2), North-South strategy (3), loop strategy (4).

[2]

[3] [4]

We can see the SHL as one of LLV´s independent islands, as a key area located between the Olympic Site and Canary Wharf; or as an opportunity to tie an East-West relationship between existing neighbourhoods. These three options have different implications on the inner organization of SHL and also imply differentiated morphologies.

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[1]

[2]

[3]

Differentiated morphologies : North-South Strategy (1), East-West Strategy (2), Loop Strategy (3) .

OPEN BLOCK

This strategy allows us to progressively define the morphology of the SHL. However, this will not only be determined by the buildings, but by the articulation of the architectural elements and the voids as well. The creation of a sequence of well-defined spaces will lead us from Mills Mead to Tower Hamlets across the SHL seems the most compelling approach. This helps to accurately regulate each pocket of blocks, encouraging the differentiation of identities among them, and defining the relationships between the front and rear of each element.

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“(...) seeking combinations of void and solid that seem “right”, designers produce (hopefully) compelling combinations. Space is an adhesive in compositional design.” Fumihiko Maki “Maki, a fan of Paul Klee, is more interested in lines, spaces, and relations than in defining shapes (...) he acts as a technical choreographer of movements, elements and potential (...)”

Rem Koolhaas

Differentiated patterns of movement : Movement along the main backbone (4), Movement through the inner courtyards of the open blocks (5), Sequence of well defined pockets (6).

[4]

[5]

[6]

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[1]

[2]

The interior voids of the blocks become pockets which work as a set of free objects in the space. The relationship among the pockets is defined by the layering of the mobility system juxtaposed with the sequence of open spaces.

OPEN BLOCK

The use of a morphological-based plan, rather than a land-use plan, requires the existence of a clear authority maximizing the flexibility of the architecture projected in order to produce the qualities required of industrial urbanity.

46 [3]


Fumihiko Maki asserts, “the primary motive is to make unity from diversity� and the Rotterman Quarter in Tallinn exemplifies the potential of mixing diversity in a coherent assemblage: living with work spaces, narrow with open spaces, old structures with new ones, the small and the large, crowdedness and emptiness... [4]

Open Block - Study of the facades and the accesses (1) and (2), Rotterman Quarter - Tallin (3) and (4), multiple options of floor plates and types (5).

[5]

47 [5]


Establishing frontality to the buildings will define how to address either the inner-courtyards or the primary streets. Their different typological and morphological characteristics not only encourage multi-functionality, but multiple options of floor plates and types.


[1]

OPEN BLOCK

Contrary to popular belief, flexibility is not about the use of types where anything can happen, but quite the opposite. It is the specific definition within the open block and the coexistence of many which allows maximum interaction. We have followed a typological reasoning where the architectural element and the growth pattern have been mutually enriched and informed. “The element suggests a manner of growth, and that in turn, demands further development of the elements”.

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“This reciprocal evolution of type and urban plan ensures continuity not by matching the style and scale of an insertion to its context, but rather by keeping the genetic trace of the parent or the imprint of the deep structure intact across the various scales of operation.“ Chris Lee


“(...) a typological guideline is more concerned with maintaining the performance of the deep structures of type and the urban plan. It should be read (...) as a set of instructions that specifies a typological performance in an urban plan.� Chris Lee

Sugar House Lane - projected morphology (1), SHL differentiation of the area (2)

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FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY


FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

[1]

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The industrial shed is a legacy of land use planning. The primary objective of this architecture was merely to facilitate access, and to contain the technological function within a neutral envelope. As a result, the sheds are present wherever the land use plan has allocated industrial area. Mono-functional industrial parks both in the LLV and in other peripheral areas have shown us that divorcing the architecture from the interior functions leads to an inefficient use of land and to an exterior environment which is not conducive to creating the complexity required of urbanity.

[2]

IWB Storage Building (1), various plans of sheds, components of the shed (3), EKZ Distribution Center (4) GIRA Production Building (5), Mors Distribution Center (6), ITW Morlock Assembly Plant (7)


In short, the industrial shed has zero urban ambition. To rethink the Prologis site as a next generation industrial neighbourhood, the shed needs to be discarded as the dominant type.

[4]

ROOF + LIGHT

[5] STRUCTURE + SPATIALITY

ENVELOPE + FRONTALITY

[6]

GROUND FLOOR + ACCESS

[3]

[7]

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FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

There are three strategies to facilitate the transformation of the area utilizing the industrial shed. First, to keep the project costs low while accommodating the fluid transition to an upgraded industrial development, retaining a few of the key existing sheds can act as placeholders for future development within the area. However, rearticulating the interior is necessary to upgrade the shed from its previous position in the fabric as mere envelope, to a structure which fulfils both a social and collaborative role within the area. The second approach is a typological shift in the industrial shed. This allows us to develop new buildings which are conducive to delivering the characteristics of an urbanized area, while retaining the original dimensionality of the shed. The final approach is a strategy which uses a megaform logic, that is, to design new buildings which have the characteristics of very large sheds. The buildings can

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1

Prologis site (1), Horizontal versus vertical multiplication of sheds (2), integrated parking (3), composite building (4). [2]

[3]

[4]


[8] Transitlager - Basel (6), College of the Arts - London (7), CitĂŠ des Sciences et de l‘industrie - Paris (8).

contain a great number of diverse functions which enable the formation of new business ecologies. Also, by creating an environment where all of the enterprises are linked, the building can begin to have characteristics similar to a university, in the way that the interior becomes a form of privileged space. These approaches to the treatment of the industrial shed, especially the typologically shift, have become the impetus for the transformation of the area. [6]

57 [7]


diverse productive system, there will need to be a change to the nature of the streets which will help it facilitate a high quality of collective space while maintaining service delivery functions. There are two critical issues to address the regeneration of the area. The first is to increase the capacity of the mobility which links the site to the metropolitan scale. There is an existing highway interchange toward the northwest area of the site, which directs the majority of the inflow of traffic to the area. However, the current road system which relies solely upon the vehicular mobility system is inadequate for the anticipated needs of the future actors within the development.

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

[1]

As opposed to SHL, Prologis is an area with an existing morphology and infrastructure that can facilitate larger scale industrial functions. Currently, the site is comprised mainly of large scale industries such as recycling and energy supply, food processing and logistics, warehouse and distribution, and aggregate production.At the moment, these industries are contained within sheds of considerable dimension. Their characteristics have been embedded into the ground and this has left a distinctive grain to the effect of their dimensionality. This allows us to analyse the potentials left by the persistence of this grain, such as the flexible nature of large scale structures which can be attractive for new forms of higher value industry. This also allows us to rethink the relationship between the buildings and the mobility system. While accepting the permanence of the plan, by upgrading the Prologis site to make use of a

58 [2]


To address the projective needs of the area, we have proposed a linkage to the A13 by creating a diagonal extension to the southeast of Prologis. This move permits the road to act as a spine which enhances the efficiency of the road network. The second issue addresses the internal mobility and distribution system within the site. The existing fabric is constituted by a series of parallel and perpendicular roads. However, there is a disconnect between the roads which is limiting movement, be it vehicular, pedestrian, or cycling. Therefore, implementing the logic of a grid could help us further develop the various parcels with an integrated mobility pattern.

[3]

Prologis - overview (1), Projected grid (2), Prologis existing fabric (3) and (4).

59 [4]


The grids are not straightjackets which must inevitably lead to uniformity, but inherently diverse forms which in turn can foster further variety. P.Groth

[1]

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

The grid is a tool to explore issues of balance, continuity, hierarchy and differentiation through the site. It is more than a network of roads, it works as a tool that supports the rationality as well as the diversity required of industrial urbanity. As a result, different patterns of movement can occur both within and across the grid. At the same time, the challenge to establishing gridness is to identify and highlight the difference within it. When we begin to incorporate the typological and morphological shifts of the industrial shed with the logic and the freedom afforded by the grid, the area gains vibrancy and permits the progressive refinement of the complexities in the envisioned neighbourhood.

60 [2]


Prologis site and the grids (1), Lower Lea Valley and the projected grid which is based on the understanding of the existing grid (2), Prologis site - differentiation of the patterns of movement - the distinction between parallel roads must be characterized by their dimensions, the materiality and the existing characteristics of the site, such as the river, the basin and the vegetation (3).

61 [3]


Two parallel lines can have different roles. While higher value functions are linked to densification and urban life and correspond to one street, production facilities and their associated system, such as the movement of large trucks, are located in the adjacent street.


Reshuffling the Interior

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

[1]

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This northern part of the Prologis site envisions the integration of key existing industrial sheds with new development. This is strategy which keeps the project costs low while accommodating the fluid transition to an upgraded development, and retaining a few of the key existing sheds can act as placeholders for future development within the area. However, rearticulating the interior is necessary to upgrade the shed from its previous position in the fabric as mere envelope, to a structure which fulfils both a social and collaborative role to in the future of the area. For example, the shed can be repopulated by new enterprises, such as the creative industries to create a new kind of landscape within the area. In fact, new industrial ecologies could be developed through the presence of the existing industries in the Lower Lea Valley and the new creative clusters within the salvaged industrial sheds. For instance


Prologis site (1), Paper Art Museum - Japan (2), moveable shutters for facade treatment (3), connecting different levels between old and new structures (4), juxtaposition : overhang & open building (5), wrapping existing sheds with new structure (6), District 5 - Zurich (5).

[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]

[6]

the recycling facilities can collaborate with a material research centre to develop new sustainable products. Also, the development can begin to make use of the existing scale and social value of the retained sheds to form intriguing spaces within the fabric, through lighting them differently, or by making use of the blank facades by projecting upon them.

65 [7]

6


“Transit calls for an architecture more dense, integrated and urban than our current planning models require. And the pedestrian wants an architecture oriented to the sidewalk, that creates continuity along with diversity, and that has human scale and detail.� Peter Calthorpe

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

[1]

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The relationship between the facades of the sheds and the adjoining buildings is critical to the transformation of the area and can be achieved by encouraging shared functions both inside and adjacent to the sheds to support the live work lifestyle. The current organization of the ground provides many potentials for the redevelopment of this area. The existing road network works well utilizing the two main arteries from Cody Road for the delivery and the servicing of the area. The central road through the development contains a dog-leg intersection which helps differentiate the north-south movement from the other vehicular delivery roads and encourages new patterns of mobility within the depth of the block. Also, the presence of large parcels enables us to envision further development within this current pattern.

[2]


To address issues with the ground organization and articulation of collective space within a large territory, an organizational approach utilizing a campus logic is appropriate. University campuses are large sites integrated into the urban fabric which share public amenities, spaces and infrastructure. The field of movement that is generated is layered by the density of users coupled with the high quality of the landscape to create a thoroughly designed, high quality active fabric. For example the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the University of California Berkeley campus support a rich pedestrian fabric which extend from the campus and merge into the surrounding city fabric. Achieving high density is crucial because if the spaces cannot support a certain mass, they will become underused and divert fields of movement around the area.

District 5 - Zurich (1), Aspen Art museum - Colorado (2), Harvard University campus (3), Paper Art museum - Japan (4).

[3]

[4]

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New building clusters are organized specifically to create certain nodes for collective gathering while allowing sufficient light and ventilation and encouraging movement between the old and new structures. The overlapping of the east-west network of voids and paths with the existing north-south pattern of streets creates a new grid quality to the industrial neighbourhood which is more campus like in the hierarchy of urban life and allows differentiated fields of movement, both pedestrian and vehicular.

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

[2]

Functional possibilities of this area: communal and recreational spaces, gymnasiums, tennis courts, or civic resources like exhibition spaces, market places etc.

68 [1]


Grid on Prologis (1), Plan of the studied area (2), detailed shed (3), views of the area (4) .

[3]

[4]

Through the reuse of key existing sheds and the integration of high quality collective spaces and new creative clusters, the proposal aims to improves the density of the area by introducing a new civic landscape while challenging the mono-functionality currently existing in this area of Prologis.

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FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY


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Transforming the Type

[1]

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

Prologis - view of the park (1), Prologis aite - gridness and triangle (2), conflicting grid (3), ABB power Tower Baden (4).

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We have established three typological shifts in industrial buildings which are conducive to delivering the characteristics of an urbanized area. The first is an integrated parking approach which places the parking at or below ground level, while the functions of the buildings are raised and placed on a plinth, as seen in the Chiswick Park development in London. This frees up the required land traditionally required for parking and allows building at greater density. The second shift is a stacking of functions, as seen in the ABB Power Tower in Switzerland. Here, the placement of lower value production facilities beneath higher value office space allows the construction of greater floor area on a smaller footprint, which decreases the amount of land required for construction. Finally, if the buildings in the next generation


industrial environment are going to be contributing to an urbanized development, the vertical surfaces of the buildings are going to need to be more than a series of blank facades with non-descript openings which do not have a relationship to the interior function of the buildings. The area in the center of the Prologis site is characterized by an interesting spatial element. Two conflicting grid patterns come into contact and the ensuing friction must be resolved. When creating the link to the A13 through the Prologis site, we began to change the nature of the street to enable a more diverse mobility system. By developing this area as an urban park, we resolve the conflict between the two competing grid systems by creating a site which responds to its own internal logic, free from the rigor of both grid systems, but creates a space which contributes to the overall character of the area.

[3]

[4]

While our site is conceived through the relief of the organizational gridness of the ground of the two adjacent road systems, the organizational approach to this area is spatially influenced by the presence of both systems. The grids are establishing a hierarchy to the circulation systems within the park, as well as dictating a face to the clusters of development, which affect the character of the parks boundaries.

73 [2]


The core of the park, the area where it is charged, is a large collective space. In addition to the creation of a high value urban park, the main objective of this site is to extend the reach of the area beyond its boundaries, through the articulation of visual connections as well as functional affinities.

Novartis Headquerters - Basel (1), The site is nearly 8 hectares, approximately the size of the highlighted areas of Vondel Park and Parc de la Villette (2) and (3), Bamboo Garden at Parc de la Villette (4), components of the projected park in Prologis (5).

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

[1]

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[2]

[3]

[4]

The entire Prologis site is controlled by one managing consortium. If we have industries in the area associated with research, design, production, and business development, we would like to include an exhibition area which allows for interested parties within the development to meet, share ideas, and collaborate with other individuals with similar interests. The core of the park has a reflexive relationship with the exhibition center as they both enhance the others performance. It is easy to see how an entire business ecology can be constructed around the relationship of these two elements. A hotel is likely to be included in the development to aid in the influx of people to the site for hosted exhibitions. This begins to establish the foundation for nearby dining options, cafÊ’s bars, and nightlife. This approach opens up the potential of economic activity past standard working hours, and this is all facilitated by providing program which contributes to the surrounding community.


Successful urban parks are composed of many systems; there are “attractors” such as the extremely popular Cité des Sciences et de l‘Industrie at Parc de la Villette; there are devices which create particular spatial experiences, such as fountains or sunken gardens; there are a variety of circulation techniques, whether direct throughways or meandering trails; there are also surfaces which inform the speed and permeability of areas within the park; these systems provide a rich experience where they begin to intersect.

75 [5]


[1]

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

[1] [2]

76

This strategy is a similar logic which maximizes on the potentials of Chiswick Park which was able to create a high quality park amidst a business development. However, the problem here is by isolating the development from its context, Chiswick Park is struggling to integrate themselves with their surroundings. Therefore, the development needs to manage or invent collective activities within the area to bring people together. Conversely, in the Fitzrovia or Soho areas of London, the natural relationship of the streets and the city perform this role automatically. The enterprises in these neighbourhoods already have commonalities, which is why institutions such as The Welcome Trust or University College London are located in the area. These support local enterprises and help them grow, as opposed to in Chiswick Park where businesses merely occupy space.

[3]


[4]

The fundamental question is how do we integrate a site predicated upon an internal organization with its surroundings? This creates an inherent tension within the buildings on the site. They need to provide a presence to the street, but the majority of their faculties are projected onto the park. This is not a street based system, users travel from the park, across the street to the activities happening near the water or in other areas of Prologis and the buildings need to facilitate that experience.

[5]

Chiswick Park (1), street in Soho - London (2), The grid establishes the hierarchy of circulation and defines the faces of the buildings (3) and (4), Novartis Headquerters Basel (5),

77


The aforementioned typological shifts in the industrial shed are how we can facilitate these requirements. The technological function is located on the plinth and the entrance to the building off the street is relegated to merely a lobby and a circulation core. This allocates the majority of the ground floor to integrated parking, with the exception of where the building needs to address the park.

Chiswick Park (1), inner organization of the buildings surrounding the park (2) and (3), Library in Copenhagen (4).

[3]

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

[1]

78

[2]

This typological shift allows us to free up the ground area to create the park, as well as provide a large enough quantum of parking to provide for increased density towards the water, as well as the remainder of the Prologis site. The vertical surfaces of the buildings can no longer be disconnected from the interior services of the buildings. They are required to illustrate the type of energy and passion found within. Rather than containing heavy manufacturing or industrial production facilities, these buildings contain enterprises which are solution based, and it is this character which needs to be projected into the area through the articulation of the facades. It is the combination of the typological changes, and with the gridness established in the surrounding areas, which will integrate this site as a differentiated but integral part of the next generation industrial neighbourhood.


[4]


FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

Exploring the Deep Plan

80

The fundamental concern with this final area of the Prologis development is utilizing the mobility system to establish a new relationship to the water as one moves westward from the industrial territory towards Bromley-by-Bow. This entails developing along the river to establish the logic of crossing the water in an east-west direction while a typological approach is used to differentiate between the north-south banks to establish a gridness to the area. To some extent, this mirrors the strategy established in the SHL to address the waterways, except the scale has been shifted to respond to the nature of the southern portion of the LLV.


[2]

Mobility system (1), design approach of the west bank (2-4).

[3]

[4]

On the west side of the river, the point block typology is projected to promote a porous relationship perpendicular to the water while utilizing a simple type in order to facilitate low risk investment. This generates a high degree of permeability between the existing housing blocks and the waterfront, while simultaneously creating privacy within the courtyards to establish a dual character to this bank.

81 [1]


b a

a

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

b

82

On the east side of the river and at the adjacent basin, a more complex typology is implemented to help realize our vision for this portion of our Tech-Knowledge Neighbourhood. The fundamental nature of the innovation economy is to achieve synergies between research, engineering, design, and business development and we are trying to create an environment which urbanizes these synergies. This strengthens the relationship between innovative companies and the industrial sector.

Typological approach differentiates the water edge conditions.

[1] Model view basin (1), Christiansbro - project in Copenhagen (2), London Assembly - London (3)


Studying the Christiansbro project in Copenhagen, or the London Assembly in London, these projects establish strong relationships with people moving along the water. Furthermore, the buildings contain courtyards in between the blocks which are oriented perpendicularly to the water. This allows for views onto the water and movement along the water while creating privacy within the courtyard. This approach articulates both a path of movement which is public while fostering a sense of local privacy. Using this approach, collective work spaces and recreational facilities as well as galleries and exhibition spaces, encourage the public engagement within the area.

[2]

[3]

research living

living work parking

work

work parking

research manufacturing parking

parking

Section a-a

research / work

education

manufacturing

research / work

work

sport

foyer parking & delivery

83 Section b-b


[1]

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY

Layers of circulation (1), explosion drawing with plinth (2), view to the beach area (3), view to the pedestrianised central plaza (4)

The ground floor hosts the vehicular access along with the car park, while the plinth begins to layer the pedestrian movement toward the beach. The first level contains designated manufacturing enterprises and the upper floors are incubators for start-up companies which are organized around courtyards and terraces. This arrangement allows natural light to penetrate deep into the building. By lifting the building at the waterfront and including recreational and civic facilities within the development, the east side of the river provides an urban landscape which offer a high quality business environment and promotes public engagement within the area to encourage integration into the adjacent communities. The strategy in this area creates a series of connections which run from the existing urban pattern to the east of the site into the upgraded industrial neighbourhood.

[3]

[2]

84 [4]


85

OUTCOME


86

FROM SHEDS TO INDUSTRIAL URBANITY


Through a redefinition of the existing potentials within the LLV, that is, the water system, connectivity, and the presence of industrial enterprises of both creativity and production, our strategy uses a typological approach to differentiation as the defining quality of the urban quarters. This triggers the process of transformation from the peripheral, industrial environment to the next-generation industrial community, by developing the complexity required for urban life and our Tech-Knowledge Neighborhood. Each area begins to function as a district with its own character. As a whole, the area promotes innovation, rapid turnovers of product cycles, large scale exhibitions, research clusters, and knowledge components. In addition, housing facilities and a civic landscape surrounding the water aid with the seamless integration of the development into the surrounding communities. Finally, all of these elements contribute to the formation of a renewed productive city where experimentation is the fundamental driver. This approach leads to the conception of industrial urbanity within the Lower Lea Valley. The Lower Lea Valley is merely a testing ground for the strategies presented in this book. Our ambition is to further develop our research and apply these principles to other peripheral areas around the globe. The redefinition of the city through an industry-led initiative is crucial in providing stable, economic growth to counterpose the instability of the financial services sector in an ever globalizing economy.

87


Anon., 2011. Multifiunctional Building for the Serralves Foundation. Madrid: El Croquis.

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“At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since!� Salvador Dali

Tech-Knowledge Neighbourhood - towards Industrial Urbanity  

Cities have been the centre of world economies for centuries, yet the combination of spatial dispersion and global integration has created a...

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