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The London School of Architecture Arrives in

2015-16

SOHO


Above: We held our first social event for students in May at the Academy Club on Lexington Street in Soho. Right: At last! After three years of preparation, a room full of students! Will’s snapshot just before his welcome lecture. Cover: the Soho Initiative by student Raphael Arthur. See more on page 86.


Welcome to the first publication from the London School of Architecture. This book shows the winter term’s endeavours from our inaugural cohort, who started last October. Each year the school will look at a different district of London, and we began with Soho. We use the city, not only as our testing ground, but also as our campus: we occupy the capital’s latent spaces, and we’re very grateful to Soho Estates for the free studio! We established the school for students with independent minds, not independent means. Our challenge to them is to participate in the evolution of the world by designing it – spatially. The work shown here represents the first tentative steps towards establishing that projective creative culture. After three years in the making, it’s incredibly exciting to be up-and-running, with our intrepid students grappling with the city and starting to offer propositions. Thank you to all who have been involved so far – especially our 30 host practices, our faculty and our patrons. Will Hunter, Founder/Director, 2016


4 Introduction Tom Holbrook 12 Infrastructure Stuart Goldsworthy-Trapp, Timm-Laurens Lindstedt, Timothy Ng, Vanessa Jobb 18 Unbuilt Soho Emiliano Zavala, Emily Fribbance, Fabio Maiolin 24 The Club Fearghal Moran, Fiona Stewart, Frazer Haviz 30Â Charity and Wealth Ian Campbell, Jack Idle, James Mackenzie 34 Nature Oscar Harleman, Phelan Heinsohn, Phoebe Nickols 40 Food Culture


Alaric Campbell-Garratt, Aleksandar Stojakovic, Andrea Nolan 46 Identity and Boundary Rachel Bow, Raphael Arthur, Roel Schiffers 54 Vice and the Unofficial Economy Chiara Barrett, Dawa Pratten, Duncan McNaughton 60 Technology Maeve Dolan, Nathaniel Amissah, Nicholas Keen 66 Speculation and Control Alexander Frehse,Milly Salisbury, Daniel Lee 70 Proposals


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Introduction

Licence and contingency in Soho While much attention has been focused on outer London and the High Streets of the ‘Opportunity Areas’ of places like Harrow and Croydon, the centre of the city has perhaps been regarded as being ‘almost all right’. Yet London’s core is undergoing radical change, largely driven by financial investment in property. Soho – on the WestminsterCamden border – is associated with insalubrious activities: the sex trade, drinking and clubs. Despite its central position it has many of the qualities more usually found in marginal places: licence, contingency and space for selfinvention – the qualities associated with creativity.

The pornographer Paul Raymond invested the huge income from his club – the Raymond Revuebar – in property. He would only buy property he could walk to; the resultant Soho Estates has never sold an acquisition. For many years the estate was relatively dormant, but now it is being transformed. The effect of the Crossrail project and the impulse of landlords such as Soho Estates and Shaftesbury are smartening up Soho, and raising rents in Chinatown. Groups like Save Soho have sprung up to lament what is being lost, with celebrities calling for the protection of Soho’s character and connection to the arts.


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Above left: Timothy Ng proposes a station on Shaftesbury Avenue to relieve the pressure from Tottenham Court Road. Above: Replacing the world-famous advertising screens at Piccadilly Circus, Emily Fribbance rehouses the London Film School.

To explore this fast-evolving urban drama we sought the views of key people, each using and shaping the city in different ways, including Bernie Katz of the Groucho Club, Philip Thompson and former Mayoral contender Steven Norris, both of Soho Estates, the Rev Dr Adam Scott from the charity House of St Barnabas, Sir William Sargent, boss of the post-production company Framestore, and Roger Zogolovitch, the author of ‘Shouldn’t we all be Developers?’. We heard from the critic Rowan Moore, Westminster’s former strategic director of the built environment Rosemarie MacQueen and the Evening Standard’s Robert

Bevan. London’s formal and informal dimensions were introduced in a talk by Fred Scott, and Soho’s bohemian and louche narratives were drawn with the help of Neal Fox and Robert Rubbish of the art collective Le Gun. In line with the LSA’s values, we asked what is the role of an architect in this urban transformation? How do we understand a dynamic situation and offer propositions that address real issues in richer ways? How might we establish a bridge between policy, economics and infrastructure to create a better city? Tom Holbrook, Leader of Urban Studies


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Introduction

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1: Our first gathering at the Academy Club on Lexington Street. 2: Visiting Niall Hobhouse’s drawings archive in Somerset. 3: Nigel Coates’s opening address at the Hub Westminster. 4: A tour of David Bieda’s Soho house. 5: At the French House after our first day. 6: Seminar in the crypt of the House of St Barnabus with Bernie Katz (Groucho Club), the Revd Dr Adam Scott and Sir William Sargent (Framestore) 7: Former London Mayoral candidate Steven Norris talking about Soho. 8: Tutorials at Second Home, the LSA’s headquarters. 9: Drawings workshop with Le Gun at Doodle Bar in Battersea. 10: Design tutorials at the Barbican. 11: Working at Second Home. 12: Crit at the Design Museum in Shad Thames. 13 & 14: The Soho studio, very kindly provided for free by Soho Estates. Overleaf: the drawings of Soho made collaboratively by the students with Le Gun.


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Introduction


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The LSA’s first ever cohort photographed at the Design Museum in April 2016


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Infrastructure

‘Infrastructure is much more important than architecture’ Rem Koolhaas


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Stuart Goldsworthy-Trapp Timm-Laurens Lindstedt Timothy Ng Vanessa Jobb

Soho. Seedy bars, shiny theatres, glamorous personalities and hundreds of tiny cuisines from far-flung parts of the world crammed into narrow streets. At first sight there are many obvious characteristics defining the specific urban quality of Soho. But what lies behind this image? What are the ghosts that power the red lights of the bars, supply eateries with ingredients, and enable the transportation of hordes of visitors? Or the vehicles that bring professionals in and out, connecting Soho’s creative industry with the world? The answer is: infrastructure. From the outset, we found that infrastructure umbrellas a range of interconnected networks operating throughout the city. Aside from the physical infrastructure that is visible in the built environment, there are social and civic systems that enable the city to function. Our endeavours were to bring to light some of the major parts of infrastructure in line with what the people of Soho (workers, residents and tourists) would depend on or encounter, so the initial approach was first to investigate Soho from several different angles based on the flow of people, goods, information and energy. Therefore we focused on examples which were specifically relevant to Soho: Crossrail, waste collection, Sohonet and the power network. The outcome would result in a combined drawing. We decided that rather than looking at fragments it would be best to look at infrastructure holistically. The drawing is foremost exploratory and within it we have included four key

infrastructures where complexity and relationship are interwoven. There are overlaps apparent within Soho, and the drawing is an interpretation of how the interaction works at different scales and times. Of the things you can notice there is an underground competition with Sohonet and the power network, both in the ground vying for space, not to mention the giant tunnels that bore through the earth from Crossrail. In turn, Crossrail will bring a new influx of people from further afield, who will create more waste, increase pressure on transport because of proximity to new jobs, and use more energy. Soho has these underworkings that people may not be aware of but they encompass a huge mix of processes and frameworks in order to operate.


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Infrastructure

Crossrail

Sohonet

Born as an idea in the 1970s, Crossrail has since developed to envision over 100km of tunnels with 40 stations, with the promise of bringing an additional 1.5m people within 45 minutes of London. Soho’s Tottenham Court Road station gets an upgrade and an additional network, with the new 250m platforms and at least 150,000 people using the station daily. Various places have been uprooted as a result of the new station being built, but there are also positive changes to the ground level. Due for completion in 2018, Crossrail will bolster employment and help future-proof our transport systems. Spanning the city, this muchneeded infrastructure brings with it huge opportunities: but at what cost to the local area? The influx of more people may further displace the precious existing culture of Soho.

The privatisation of BT in 1984 helped to open up the street infrastructure for many independent telecommunication providers to implement their own fibre networks in London. At the moment more than 15 different companies can be found under Soho streets. One special example is Sohonet, a community-of-interest network for the television, film and media production community, which was founded in 1995 from a group of postproduction facilities to provide high speed connectivity to all the major production centres worldwide and to strengthen Soho’s position as global hotspot for the media industry. Sohonet is among a number of metropolitan area networks (MAN), such as New York, LA and Sydney, that guarantee clients data transfer-rates up to 40Gbit/s. With more than 400 media companies, Sohonet is the world’s largest independent media network.


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Stuart Goldsworthy-Trapp Timm-Laurens Lindstedt Timothy Ng Vanessa Job

Waste management

Energy shortage

The diverse range of activities occurring within Soho’s historic neighbourhood creates a multitude of problems, not only in its wasteful use of energy and high-carbon output, but also in its waste management system. Due to the small plot size and haphazard network of narrow streets, there is minimal space to manage Soho’s waste effectively. Westminster Council favours off-street collections, via containers wherever possible, to reduce the burden on the congested public realm. Two-thirds of Soho’s waste is transported to SELCHP, an energyfrom-waste plant in south-east London that powers 48,000 homes. This decentralised approach to energy is in keeping with the theories of sustainble urban design. But, as the Green Party’s Jenny Jones says: ‘Now they have to produce waste just to fulfil their requirements, while recycling has taken a backseat.’

It is predicted in the London Infrastructure Plan 2050 that the capital city: ‘may be facing an energy crisis in the very near future, as demand begins to outstrip supply, which is largely a legacy of under investment in national energy supply to the grid’. The risk is acute in Soho, which has been running at above capacity power usage for the last four years. In the last decade, the area has had five major power outages, some of which lasted as long as 10 hours. In 2013 the UK Power Networks invested £5m on upgrading the only major substation in Soho on Carnaby Street, which involved extending the building to include new high-voltage distribution equipment to aid the supply’s reliability. The recent trend of converting commercial premises into residential units is exacerbating the problem. “While at present Londoners enjoy an uninterrupted supply of energy over 99.99 per cent of the time, London may be facing an energy crisis in the very near future,


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Infrastructure


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Stuart Goldsworthy-Trapp Timm-Laurens Lindstedt Timothy Ng Vanessa Jobb

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Left: The entangled layers of infrastructure. Soho’s real runners, whether powering the red lights of the bars, supplying the wide range of restaurants with exotic ingredients, moving enormous numbers of people every day or connecting one of the biggest post-production industries at high speed to the world.


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Unbuilt Soho

Polishing the quirky toothless smile


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Emiliano Zavala Emily Fribbance Fabio Maiolin

Unbuilt Soho is about a city that is soon to appear. It is an investigation of planned developments, to understand and analyse how they will affect both the built and the social environment. Contemplating buried visions of the past among distinct phases of seismic change in relation to the growth today, it unpicks the forces at play at the urban scale to create a picture of the future direction of Soho.

Soho has seen three periods of great upheaval in its lifetime: mass migration following the Great Fire, reconstruction after the Blitz, and now. Today buildings are wrapped in scaffolding on every street and there is the perpetual rumble of construction. This current development growth is comparable to surges following London’s seminal disasters, but to what or whom can we attribute it this time? Advancing transport (Crossrail), pivotal strategy changes from a major landowner Soho Estates, government-driven financial incentives, planning policies and the ever-rising property bubble are all playing a part. Through gathering and collating data regarding forthcoming developments, we have been able to envisage the impending challenges confronting Soho now. The physical appearance of buildings in the heart of Soho will remain the same generally. There are a few demolition projects planned but many refurbishments and minor

extensions. Behind the facades however, changes are vast. In the past five years, 72 per cent of applications show change of use from office to residential, with 30,000 sqm of office space lost, and 60,000 sqm of residential space gained. Due to the small scale of many proposals, which fall below the threshold for creating affordable housing, the homes being built are virtually all of a homogeneous luxury type. Conservation Area policy seems to be maintaining Soho’s face with a strong control on upward growth, albeit under the pretence of retained facades and flashing relics of the past. Creative workspace is significantly diminishing and treasured entertainment venues sacrificed. The quirky toothless smile is being remodelled into a gleaming new set of high-end homes to be snapped up by the super rich. The over-indulgence of quick-win conversions will result in an atomised and leasehold-restricted stock and another period of development stasis.


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1. 54-58 Wardour St 2. Warwick House 3. 20-24 Broadwick Street 4. Fenton House 5. Walker’s Court 6. Kettner’s townhouse 7. 40 Beak Street 8. 27 Soho Square 9. Kemp House 10. 37-38 Golden Square 11. Fintex House 12. Hammersley House 13. Regency House 14. 15 St Anne’s Court 15. 55-56 Poland Street

16. 34-35 Berwick Street 17. 181-185 Wardour Street 18. Noel Street apts 19. 40-41 Great Marlborough St. 20. 56-57 Frith Street 21. SOHO 13 (Trenchard House) 22. Amalco House 23. 73-89 Oxford Street 24. Crossrail – Site A 25. Crossrail – Site B 26. Crossrail – Site C 27. Crossrail – Site D 28. 81 Dean Street 29. 103-109 Wardour St

30. 68-70 Wardour St 31. 12 Sherwood Street 32. Noel House 33. 29 Poland Street 34. 27-28 Poland Street 35. 21-22 Poland Street 36. 3-4 Great Marlborough 37. 11 Poland Street 38. 22 Noel Street 39. 40 Berwick Street 40. 31 D’Arblay Street 41. 54 Poland Street 42. 17 Carlisle Street 43. 2 Lowndes Court 44. 28-28A Carnaby Street

45. 4 Denman Street 46. 58 Brewer Street 47. 25 Beak Street 48. 47-49 Rupert Street 49. 59 Rupert Street 50. 34Lexington St 51. 36-38 Lexington St 52. 9-11 Broadwick St 53. 21-23 Meard Street 54. 3 Meard Street 55. 22 Greek Street 56. 21 Greek Street 57. 47 Greek Street 58. 54 Greek Street 59. 13 Bateman Street 60. 2 Royalty Mews


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The epitome of our findings is demonstrated here in the recent proposal for the Monico site at Piccadilly. The scheme hollows out the block behind the famous advertising screens through the amalgamation of several plots and insertion of a single mega-office block. Forty years previously, a destructive tabula rasa office development proposed on the same site was fought forcibly and successfully prevented by a dedicated group of local residents and businesses. In 2015, history repeats itself but the cavalry is no longer united, with too many opposing perspectives, each focusing on their specific interests – Soho Society, Save Soho, Soho Create, Plan for Soho. The sentiment is there and dissemination of campaigns is vast thanks to the internet and celebrity endorsements, but to truly look after Soho the groups must work together. Historic patterns suggest an inevitable deceleration of growth soon and local policies are evidently shifting in an attempt to regain control. But with London’s prime real-estate bubble still growing, and the district sitting comfortably in the centre of a net strongly tethered by the transport system beneath it, we can expect Soho’s future to continue to remain uncertain for a few more years.

Emiliano Zavala Emily Fribbance Fabio Maiolin

Top: Aerial view of the proposed scheme for Monico Site by Fletcher Priest Architects, 2015. Above: The 1954 conceptual scheme for Soho by Geoffrey Jellicoe, Ove Arup and Edward Mills.


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Unbuilt Soho

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Emiliano Zavala Emily Fribbance Fabio Maiolin

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The Club

‘It isn’t what it used to be, but it never ever was what it was really’ Ian Broad Colony Room


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Fearghal Moran Fiona Stewart Frazer Haviz

Soho’s club culture is world renowned for its vibrancy and diversity, but also its darker, seedy roots. These clubs capture the zeitgeist of a cultural cocktail, a catalogue of historical events that have shaped its architectural form and sociological character. However, with the arrival of new transport infrastructure and changes to national planning policy, the scene is set to change. Can Soho survive this gentrification or will its spirit be driven out for good?

Soho has evolved as a layering of cultures and counter-cultures. Wealthy men of the 18th century came here for its prostitutes; others were just as likely to have been attracted to its music and performances. It is (in)famous for its bohemian culture, rich history with music, strong relationship with the LGBT community and its glamorous, exclusive members’ clubs. Its neglect by respectable Londoners created a thriving petri dish of sex workers, illicit trading and ad-hoc urban fabric. The low rents and general receptiveness of Sohoites attracted artists, philosophers, musicians and other creative-types to form a notional Soho club: ‘A curious mismatch of legendary institutions and fly-by night fads’ as David Clack, put it in ‘Soho: Then and Now’ (Time Out, 7 Jan 2015). Soho now faces new influxes of new people with the imminent arrival of Crossrail 1 & 2, which are scheduled to nearly double the number of passengers travelling

through Tottenham Court Road. The arriving hordes will cause greater stress to an already-stressed area, as it is regarded by Westminster City Council, who are employing a policy of ‘presumption against’ which encourages natural wastage of music and drinking venues in the area. The new accessibility and also current legislation allowing change of use from office to residential is driving up the price of real estate in Soho, meaning that its long-term occupants face increased rental prices and could be driven out of their habitat. Looking at three types of club, their tribes, entry requirements, how they developed, the spaces they occupy and interviewing key figures, provided a glimpse into Soho’s world behind closed doors and the beliefs of those who are initiated members of club Soho: the people who make Soho tick.


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The Club

Gay Clubs The history of gay culture in the West End goes back to the 1700s, when the area was well known for its ‘Molly Houses’, where men would have fun with men-dressed-as-women. As homosexuality was illegal until 1967, the scene remained mostly underground and Soho was not a place known for gay culture. In the 1980s, as the sex industry began to leave Soho, gay culture began to boom there: it became – in the words of The Very Miss Dusty O (drag artist at Madame JoJo’s) – ‘very gay, very quickly’. Today, it still is London’s main gay district, however recently there has been the closure of a series of high-profile gay venues. Nationally there have been news stories questioning the relevance of gay bars in a country that legally and culturally accepts gay people.


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Fearghal Moran Fiona Stewart Frazer Haviz

Jazz Clubs Soho was the ideal place for jazz clubs due to its intimate nature, domestic scale and receptive, alternative audience. In the early 1950s, clarinetist Cy Laurie opened one of the country’s first jazz clubs in Soho’s Ham Yard, where he held raves till dawn. In the late 1940s, Ronnie Scott, then a highly promising 20-year-old tenor saxophonist, blew his savings on a trip to New York to see for himself what the jazz scene there was all about. In 1959, he opened Ronnie Scott’s on Gerrard Street, where the rent was cheap, but culture rich. Since then, the venue has hosted almost all the world’s great jazz artists and was one of the forebears of British jazz culture.


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Members’ clubs A reaction to draconian licensing laws that closed the pubs in the afternoon, and in opposition to the stuffy, elitest gentlemen’s clubs of St James’s, Soho’s clubs have rooted themselves in the area’s grubby heart over the last hundred years. They usually occupy existing rooms and buildings and range in size and membership from that of the Academy, two rooms that are serviced by the restaurant below, to the Groucho, a warren of rooms for drinking, dancing, eating and sleeping (both illustrated right). The clubs charge an annual membership and tend to be very exclusive about who may join; they are mysterious, desirable, elitist places whose primary function is to curate a network of likeminded people. Dean Street has seen the tragic closure of the Colony Room and the recent arrival of Soho House: it seems bigger clubs are winning in Soho. With Soho House(s) proliferating internationally, Soho’s clubs have become a global brand.

The Club


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Fearghal Moran Fiona Stewart Frazer Haviz


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Charity and Wealth

The place of the poor and the prosperous


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Ian Campbell Jack Idle James Mackenzie

The duality of charity and wealth has been Soho’s bedrock. As an area of fragmented ownership and fine-grained urban fabric, historically it has nurtured radical social relationships between the well-off and the needy. A recent response to this duality is evident in the modification of the House of St Barnabas into a private members’ club within Soho’s most notable and historic ‘house of charity’.

Soho is often said to be all things to all people, and this trait is exemplified by its popularity with both the poor and the prosperous of society. At a time when investment is smartening up Soho through development, the district remains a hotspot for the more visible signs of homelessness. The 24-hour culture which thrives on the entertainment scene is an attractive characteristic for homeless people who feel safer on streets with activity around the clock. Where historically Soho has been an affordable alternative to its neighbours, financial investment in property is now smartening up the area and putting upward pressure on rents. Long-standing charitable institutions that own their premises are insulated from the pressure of rising rents, however other charitable facilities in the area are fragile, and more likely to close, relocate or be forced to radically adapt. Dean Street encapsulates the contrasts of our mapping, with thriving members’ clubs and major

developments in close proximity to a hotspot for begging and the charitable services of St Anne’s Church. Although the charity Centrepoint is surviving here, it is feeling the effects of Soho’s gentrification, having recently lost its former tenancy on Greek Street. We found in the House of St Barnabas an enterprising example of to how charities are having to be innovative in order to operate in Soho as an institution. Realising that they would be forced to close if they could not secure funding for their charitable services, they decided to open a private members’ club within the building. The new income this provides is able to support the employment academy for the homeless on the upper floors of the building, and an interesting dual-use model has successfully arisen within the premises.


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Charity and Wealth

Above: Begging hotspots are shown in red. The red-line perimeter is Soho’s ‘dispersal zone’, aimed at people who may cause harassment, alarm or distress to those who live and work in the area. Police can ban individuals or groups for up to 24 hours. The dispersal zone is a bid to whitewash the area of visible signs of homelessness. A conspicuous display of wealth’s role in Soho, the light blue shows developments currently under construction or awaiting construction. The dark blue indicates charities. Right: House of St Barnabas sectional study. ‘The starting vision of the House of St Barnabas is to be a place where the pleasures and needs of one group facilitate the dreams of others,’ says Sandra Schembri. The teaching rooms for the Employment Preparation Programme (EPP) are upstairs. It runs over a dozen weeks with five staff and around 20 recovering homeless people. Work experience in the club is a key part of the hospitality training offered. Although the new model is thriving, with several successful EPP terms completed and over 1,600 paying members, the section and separate stairways reinstate the building’s historic hierarchical social relationships.


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Ian Campbell Jack Idle James Mackenzie


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Nature

‘Where is London,

if Soho has gone? Where is our health if nature has gone?’ Caitlin Moran


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Oscar Harleman Phelan Heinsohn Phoebe Nickols

Examining historic surveys of Soho, we found a curtailment of green spaces starting at the end of the 17th century when the working farmlands were swiftly developed into streets by leaseholders and builders. The courtyards were left unbuilt at the time, being used as stables and for personal rearing of farm animals. Over the years they were gradually filled in. By the 1950s, there were only three green spaces left that were purely recreational.

Over the last 60 years, plans of Soho show a distinct lack of lateral densification with all the usable land having already been developed in the previous centuries. Sections from the time, however, reveal a different story. The vertical expansion – up for increased office and residential uses, down for infrastructure – reveals a web of subterranean systems, channelling a constant stream of people, information, water, electricity, food and money, and disposing of waste, soil, production and information. We have taken this idea of physical inputs/outputs and looked at Soho as a living, breathing, evolving organism, its make-up being analogous to that of a plant or animal cell. We have identified two key elements in the reproduction of this cell – materiality and density. The evolution of the built material has allowed for taller buildings and increased density as well as the building of new tunnels increasing the connectivity but at the same

time causing a drastic increase in embodied energy within the built fabric as new materials such as concrete, cast iron, plastics, steel and insulation emerged. The artificial nature of Soho becomes apparent as we look at what goes on under the ground. Just under the green rug of Soho Square the new Tottenham Court Road station for Crossrail is being built. The project has removed 7 million tonnes of soil from beneath London and transported it to Essex to create new bird habitats, while new construction material is continually brought in for new development speeding up these processes even further.


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Nature

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Top: Embodied energy within Soho’s built mass. Whereas construction was relatively simple during the 17th century meaning the use of a limited materials palette and local sourcing of them – material-invention and especially global sourcing has led to an immense increase of grey energy. Above: the maps show the difference of materials, geography and construction between 1600 and 2000. Below: the graph shows grey energy increase: production (darker green) vs transport + production (lighter green).


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Oscar Harleman Phelan Heinsohn Phoebe Nickols

Crossrail will excavate a total of 7 million tonnes of soil during construction. One tonne of soil and clay gives you 378 bricks – enough to construct 6.3sqm of brickwork. Five million tonnes of excavated material give you 31,531,815 sqm of brickwork – or enough to build 22,933 single family homes.


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Nature


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Oscar Harleman Phelan Heinsohn Phoebe Nickols

Main image: section cut through Soho looking east, showing the forthcoming excavations of Crossrail below Soho Square. Above: maps showing the densification of Soho and the disappearance of nature from 1650, 1850 and 1950.


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Food Culture

Food for thought on Soho


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Alaric Campbell-Garratt Andrea Nolan Aleksandar Stojakovic

From costume supper clubs in the 17th century to today’s lary unruliness of Berwick Street Market, Soho has always drawn people with its exotic and unpredictable food and dining. What marks Soho out is its diversity: our study counted 544 food establishments in Soho, including 345 restaurants – 142 restaurants per square mile (four times the Westminster average). Soho is a place full of contradictions – the grubby kebab stall beside the Michelin-starred brasserie; the Shaftesbury Avenue Starbucks next to the Soho Estates start-up; the 200-year-old pub next to the trendy bikeshop-cum-café-cum-gallerycum-barber. It needs all these and more to survive; its character is in its range, and that does not just mean edgy independents. It means history, it means the rich and the poor, it means catering to all our needs – be that greasy fish and chips to cure the hangover or an artisan patisserie selection to woo a client. This bizarre mishmash is what keeps people coming. Soho has changed and people of course will mourn personal loss, but it has also gained a huge amount. You can eat in a different restaurant every day of the year (and then some), you can experience over 100 different cuisines and cultures, you can dine for £5 or £5,000: and all of this within a square mile. We explored the diversity of the Soho food scene by questioning the origin, longevity, value and

uniqueness of Soho eateries. We broke the origins down into six cultural genres and mapped them to notice trends and clusters which in many places dated back to the 1800s. We also wanted to show the recent foothold being gained by global food chains, in comparison with the local and independent establishments which make up 72 per cent of the Soho food scene. Outdoor presence, both tables and chairs, and market stalls, contribute hugely to the foody ambience of Soho. Overleaf, we looked at which streets have the busiest food scene by mapping the density of the street’s food establishment opening hours by a graphic of noodle thickness.


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Food Culture

A brief history of food in Soho

‘Even in the 18th century Soho residents ordered food in … the first takeaway!’ David Bieda, 68 Dean Street.

In 1880 tomatoes first appeared in London at Berwick Street Market, grapefruit followed in 1890.

‘Of late years, the inexpensive restaurants of Soho have enjoyed an extraordinary vogue.’ 1924, London guide.

1990s: property tax went up by 800%, driving out many longstanding food stalls, butchers and fishmongers.

Street trading in Berwick Street probably started in the late 1770s when shopkeepers displayed their wares on the pavements, but it was not officially recognised as a market until 1892.

By the 1890s, many of Soho’s French Huguenots, Greeks and Italians had opened eating houses serving their native cuisines. In the 1950s, the only place to buy olive oil was in a chemist in Soho. Famous TV cook Fanny Cradock and food writers such as Elizabeth David bought exotic ingredients from Berwick Street Market.

‘The history of London is organic … The public spaces and streets were set out because of the food cycles, till the industrial revolution’ Carolyn Steel.


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Alaric Campbell-Garratt Andrea Nolan Aleksandar Stojakovic

over 1 hour outdoor presence

global ownership

density of street opening hours*

3/4 – 1hour 1/2 – 3/4 hour

British

North American

European

South American

Asian

Other

* collective sum of opening hours in one day, per metre of the street Gerrard Street in Chinatown has a total of 200 opening hours in its 165m length – resulting in over 1 hour per metre.

1/4 – 1/2 hour 0 – 1/4 hour no business


44

Food Culture

SOHO - FOOD & FOOD CULTURE INGREDIENTS METHOD 1. 1 x Café 1.Take a recently built 2. 1x bicycle store building with floor to 3. Coffee culture ceiling windows, brass 4. Mixture of retro cyclists, creatives, framed and combine it mixed age groups and suits with roughened con5. A handful of lazy, slouchy mannerisms crete floor, timber and 6. Pick multiple individuals sitting by them roughened industrialselves on laptops, phones, tablets and iPods looking steel. with an assortment of earphones plugged in 2.Make sure to cover 7. Roughened concrete floor a large bowl with two 8. French café aura sides with bicycle gear, 9. Loud coffee machine apparel, clothes and equipment, 10. All tables with glass tops and allowing seating merchandise placed underneath intermittently between. 11. Water jug, 6 glasses 3.Take multiple individuals and 12. 6x steel heavy chairs divide them into separate groups of 13. Floor to ceiling windows conversations, meetings 14. Bright colours and indviduals using technology. 15. 8 employees 4.Now mix in French baking, antip16. World wide chain odean coffee culture and top with a comfortable environment.

METHOD INGREDIENTS 1. 3 French Brothers Maxime, Yannis and Malik 2. Small French Dishes 3. Buttery puff pastry 4. A board of cheeses 5. Crispy frog legs 6. French wine only 7. Curated music by sound engineer brother Malik

1. Remove all bullshit, Blanchette wishes to feed customers not to placate them. 2. Combine low-maintenance interiors with eclectic music and low-key lighting for a cool, French vibe. 3. Choose from the many small plates, cheese boards and charcuterie. 4. Pair French family classics with wine

TS INGREDIEN ria in 1. 1st temake London 2. A dash of m inspiration fro an Brazil and Jap ce du pro sh 3. Fre Colourful ely ativ cre and presented dishes 4. Catering and food parties hes 5. Seasonal dis and soups

METHOD e in the 1. Hand prepar g this to kitchen, allowin piece of the be the centre restaurant. “the name is 2. Remember the word m fro d derive , se for fingers ‘yubi’, Japane modern in rse me Im 3. g, tin sea n interior, woode unusual light brass details, fittings. ting allowing 4. Window sea h the wit n tio for a connec street. here, osp atm xed 5. Allow rela or formal. not too smart redients ing er eth tog 6. Roll to eat for a quick bite space of within a short quick a for t time, perfec lunch or snack.


45

Alaric Campbell-Garratt Andrea Nolan Aleksandar Stojakovic

METHOD INGREDIENTS 1. 1965 first Pizza Express in Chinatown 2. Tomatoes from Greci Brothers in Parma 3. Mozzarella monopoly in 1960s 4. Italian pizza oven brought to UK 5. Italian produce to create Italian pizza 6. Seasonal dishes £10.70

1. Simple but radical idea in the ‘60s 2. Combine fresh Itali an produce with new oven technique in the UK 3. Ground floor seati ng creates views onto bustling China Town 4. Personality-led business relationships 5. Allow interiors to be designed by Enzo Apicella 6. Mix in some jazz music to enhance experience

INGREDIENTS 1. Fresh produce only, sourced at Billingsgate or Smithfield. 2. The freshest Perigord truffles from a friend in France. (£1.20/g) 3. 2 kgs Old Spot sausages. (£12/kg) 4. Sardines (£8/kg) 5. 2.3kg silverside rolled joint (£24) 6. Iberico ham (£90 including stand) 7. 50g tin of Beluga Caviar (£135) 8. Free range, slow grown turkey (£13/kg) 9. 1kg bavette (£14)

INGREDIENTS

METHOD 1. Keep produce in freezer boxes, transport with care 2. Use public transport for low cost and time effective method. 3. Combine local customers and word of mouth, with a pint of ale upon meeting. 4. Include a dash of local restaurants too, but mainly private clients (80%) 5. Sell to 15/20 people per day. 6. Use live Twitter feed to advertise cuts of meat that are for sale. 7. Save money on advertising by using Twitter and social media.

METHOD 1. 60 year-old establishment. 1.Take the Hungarian culture 2.Use old worn carpets and resonance and mix it 3. Library full of political with politicians and caric-a biographies tures of those politicians, 4. Waiters that use a simmer for 60 years. Hungarian accent. 2.Now add a library of 5. 12 x tables with pristinely biographies of those politiwhite cotton table clothes and accompanying napkins. cians and simmer further. 3.Iron and bleach the table6. Necessary amounts of cloths, shine the glasses and Hungarian porcelain place the silverware all on 7. Dated traditional the table Hungarian food 8. A mixture of tourists on 4.Place an abundance of soft furnishings and finally allow the Soho food scene and for two sittings at every meal, regular aged clientele to optimise taste and much needed revenue to pay rent.


46

Identity and Boundary

Rezoning Soho to defend its identity


47

Rachel Bow Raphael Arthur Roel Shiffers

Current research and prominent campaigns such as Save Soho highlight the public’s profound perception of Soho being at risk of losing its extraordinary character, particularly as a consequence of the extensive Crossrail developments in the vicinity. We asked: could Soho’s boundary be re-imagined, in order to both protect and promote its threatened identity for future generations?

We were inspired by the writing of urban theorist Richard Sennett. He explains the difference between borders and boundaries: a boundary is a fixed territorial zone with clearly defined lines; whereas borders are interactive edges of symbiotic relationships and exchange. This idea is comparable to that of a protective cell wall and a porous cell membrane. The question was raised whether Sennett’s theory could be applied to Soho, and if so, how? Could the boundary be used to protect Soho’s unique identity? Bernie Katz from the Groucho Club suggested the only place remotely similar to Soho is Greenwich Village, New York. We therefore undertook comparative research on the two districts to discover any similar problems and their tested solutions. It was found that Greenwich Village had reacted to threats to its identity by employing a re-zoning strategy; the boundary lines were redefined by adding extensions to the historic quarter, with distinct policies

tailored to each new extension. After cross-referencing and overlaying the relevant research and analysis, it seemed plausible that a similar approach could be taken for Soho, and that re-zoning could be an effective defence for safeguarding its exceptional character. Thus, the proposal is to make Soho’s outer edge akin to a porous membrane that promotes positive exchange and allows Soho to maintain a beneficial relationship with its surroundings. The cultural hotspot, highlighted in pink in the isometric drawing, is the zone found to be the most concentrated area of Soho’s sense of character: the current centre of Soho-ness. This demarcation will behave more like a protective yet mutable boundary, guided by specific planning rules and policies to ensure its preservation and continual growth.


48

Identity and Boundary

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8


49

Rachel Bow Raphael Arthur Roel Shiffers

9

10

11

1: Creative industries 2: Bars, restaurants and nightclubs 3: LGBT community 4: Residential density 5: Retail 6: Sex industry 7: Theatres 8: Tourist attractions

and shops 9: Mind map of Soho’s boundary taken from survey in the streets of Soho 10: Positive characteristics of Soho 11: Overlay of 9 and 10


50

Identity and Boundary

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Top: Rezoning of Greenwich Village in New York. Above: Proposed cultural hotspot of Soho.


51

Rachel Bow Raphael Arthur Roel Shiffers

1

3

2

4

Potential policies for further research and investigation are: 1: Keeping plot sizes small. 2: Keeping business rates low for creative/small/independent companies. 3: Promoting export, 4: Banning new chain stores.


52

Identity and Boundary

The proposal is to make Soho’s outer edge akin to a border that promotes positive exchange and allows Soho to maintain a beneficial relationship with its surroundings. The cultural hotspot, highlighted in pink, is the zone found to be the most concentrated area of Soho’s sense of character. This demarcation will behave more like a protective yet mutable boundary, guided by specific planning rules and policies to ensure preservation yet continual growth.


53

Rachel Bow Raphael Arthur Roel Shiffers


54

Vice and the Unofficial Economy

‘The sexual gymnasium of the city’ Francis Bacon


55

Chiara Barrett Dawa Pratten Duncan McNaughton

Public perception of vice is constantly evolving. Soho has long been known as ‘London’s square mile of vice’, and as such has attracted a variety of non-conformists from Karl Marx to Francis Bacon. Our research investigates the physical and legislative peculiarities that have encouraged Soho to become a socially permissive place, and whether, with the advent of Tinder, internet pornography and an increasing resident population, Soho will continue to be a destination for vice? Vice and Soho are synonymous. ‘Soho’ has long been associated with sex, drugs and anything else at the edge of public acceptability. Accordingly, this infamous neighbourhood functioned as a stage for illicit exploration, driving forward society’s ideas of acceptability. Forming in a gap between great estates, with smaller, cheaper, plot sizes allowing for greater diversity in use and ownership, Soho attracted refugees from around the world. Its narrow streets also attracted crime – especially (and famously) sex work. Across approximately 200 years, Soho became a place to indulge in vice and eventually a home and community for people whose vices and/or ideas were unacceptable to wider society. Part of Soho’s charm grew from its ability to subvert laws, descension elevated to an art form in the pursuit of pleasure. The most famous example being Paul Raymond and his Revuebar, which thrust Soho’s sex industry into the spotlight. Soho’s future is unstable. The internet has disrupted the erotic industries; with every conceivable

type of imagery at our fingertips, the sex shop is extinct. The sex industry is decentralised, people need not visit Soho for prostitution when they can stay in the suburbs and find the same thrills. Paul Raymond recognised the saturation of eroticism and focused on property development, now seeing the sex industry he forged as detrimental to profit. Soho Estates, working under the motto ‘Edgy not Seedy’, is working to clean up Soho, increase land value and combine historically small plots into larger developments. This new direction could lead to the death of Soho, with its challenging nature reduced to commercialised ‘provocative’ neon signs. Soho is no longer a centre for youth culture and, with its essence of danger exported as a global brand, what role does vice play in the future of Soho? Does London still need to be challenged?


56

Vice and the Unofficial Economy


57

Chiara Barrett Dawa Pratten Duncan McNaughton


58

Vice and the Unofficial Economy

Quotes from an interview with ‘Big Jim’ the Vice Cop, a 20-year veteran of Westminster’s Vice Squad and Licensing Departments.

On Fighting Prostitution and Drug Crime: ‘It’s like squeezing a balloon. you squeeze the balloon and they just pop up in other places.’

On Soho: ‘People come here for the food, sex or drugs.’

On the Economics of Sex Work: ‘The first 10 tricks you do, that’s just your rent, then you got to do some for your maid, then it’s yours.’

On Rents: ‘As much as anything, the price and value of land in Soho became such that the landlords can actually let it out as a restaurant and make more money than a clip joint.’ On Trans Prostitutes in the 1980s: ‘The rule of thumb was if they were good looking they were men, and if they were rough, they were women.’ On Police-Sex Worker Relations: ‘They would just knock on the door and say “it’s us from the vice unit, who’s working today, where you from, got any problems?”’ On Police Attitudes: ‘Sensibly the police at a senior level have always said “look as long as you’re not causing antisocial behaviour and nuisance to your neighbours and you’re doing it of your own free will, get on with it”.’ On New Technologies: ‘What it means is that people don’t have to come into the city, they can stay in the suburbs and pay for a shag in Harlow or anywhere.’

Quotes from an interview with Catherine Stephens, from the International Union of Sex Workers On Media Perceptions: ‘You read these articles about “oh she was forced to see 35 men a night”. If someone is seeing 35 people a night you would not have to force women to work.’ On the Effects of New Technology: ‘Demand hasn’t decreased, my suspicion is that supply had increased... in terms of commercial and non-commercial sex.’ On the Lack of Work: ‘There are all these conversations about how there’s more demand... I wish those were true.’ ‘Historically, if you wanted to find commercial sex and you didn’t know where to start, I’d imagine you’d start in Soho. Whereas now, I’d imagine you’d go online.’


59

Chiara Barrett Dawa Pratten Duncan McNaughton

Protesters support of sex workers after several brothels close.

Above: photographer Ryan Saradjola captures the sexy neon glow of Soho (ryansaradjola.com).

On Drug Use: ‘I’ve never seen anything, either in life or on paper, that makes me believe that there are different patterns of drug use in the indoor sex industry to regular life.’ On Crime and Punishment: ‘If people get a criminal record, which does nothing to increase your employment prospects, they end up carrying on. They’ll come out of prison or pay the fine then have to go back to work to pay the fine.’ On Policing: ‘Once you’ve dialled that number you’re completely out of control of that situation and so you’re

dependent on how the police behave towards you.’ ‘The more coded those conversations have to be, the less safe people will be. A senior policeman once told me that a brothel exists in both time and space.’ ‘I met somebody who was told while she was being raped “you can’t go to the police because they’ll deport you, you’re an illegal immigrant”... that guy’s still out there.’ ‘I’d be very surprised if enforcement’s taken any number of people out of the industry. Buying sex, or selling it.’


60

Technology

‘Technology is the answer. But what was the question?’ Cedric Price


61

Maeve Dolan Nathaniel Amissah Nicholas Keen

The evolution of technology in Soho has sponsored cultural and spatial change, transforming social relations and creating new typologies. The rise of the coffee boom, for example, started in Soho with the arrival of the first espresso machine. From the birth of the British film industry, to the emergence of café culture and the first demonstration of the television – all have happened within its square mile.

Soho’s deviant nature as a place that encourages a departure from the norm has helped put it at the forefront of technological innovation, new trends and new cultures. It has taken its strong image to the digital realm and can be seen as one of the most densely populated areas in London on graphs charting traffic from social media such as Instagram, Flickr and Twitter. Soho’s edginess and romanticised image lends itself to social media. For businesses who embrace it, this can be a lucrative and inexpensive way of attracting customers; those who ignore it can quickly lose them. Soho’s relationship with the film industry perhaps offers its most unique connection to technology. There are almost 300 companies working in film production, postproduction and distribution. Almost 70 per cent of the UK workforce engaged in film and television production are employed by companies in Soho.

This cluster operates as an agile network of highly specialised individuals and services. Collaboration is frequent with larger firms often subcontracting smaller companies, who in turn employ freelancers. Ad-hoc teams are created then dissolved after the project. As well as the economic advantages, it is the sense of community and belonging that those working in the film industry in Soho enjoy. To be competing on one project and then working collaboratively on another feeds this exchange of knowledge. Film industry companies stay in Soho despite high rents, so the advantages of being part of the cluster must outweigh the costs. However with rents increasing, will only the established companies be able to stay in Soho? A problem of industry renewal may emerge as small and young companies are priced out.


62

Technology

1. Collaboration

2. Labour access & freelancers

3. Sohonet

4. Social networks

Flow of information and tacit knowledge Collective learning becomes embedded in area. Expertise acts as a cumulative mechanism to the benefit of all

A diagram exploring the benefits of being in Soho’s cluster for film industry companies: 1: Collaboration opportunities allow small companies to work on Hollywood films. 2: Freelancers require face-to-face interactions due to the fragmented and dispersed nature of production. Ad hoc teams must be easily formed and contacted. 3: Sohonet is a private broadband network giving Soho global links and a competitive edge. 4: Networking and serendipitous interactions facilitated through a multitude of social venues.


63

Maeve Dolan Nathaniel Amissah Nicholas Keen

Music

Performance arts

Shopping

Food & drink

Sex

2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Above: The graphs in the windows chart Soho-related Google searches associated with a certain topic over the past five years. Music, performing arts and sex have declined, while shopping, eating and drinking have increased. The top chart shows the total number of Soho-related searches indicating that, though the topics have changed, the area has maintained a steady level of interest. Overleaf: This time-lapse image is taken over 10 minutes and shows how many people look at their screens rather than their surroundings while in Soho. Through our observations we found that the majority are using their phones to navigate. Soho’s complex street network and lack of visual landmarks make it a difficult landscape to navigate.


64

Technology


65

Maeve Dolan Nathaniel Amissah Nicholas Keen


66

Speculation and Control

The urban buzz of life off the street


67

Alexander Frehse Daniel Lee Milly Salisbury

Soho wants its buttons pushed and its boundaries teased. It is an urban ‘island’ notoriously easy to lose yourself in, literally and metaphorically. Our strategy was to dig deeper into the neighbourhood by exploring the staircases beyond the shop fronts. Through the open doors of its people, strong opinions were expressed; from building sites to shoe shops to tailor’s workshops, we were welcomed in from the street as we untangled the social and spatial networks within Soho.

To overcome the bewildering attack on our senses, and to pin down our initial ideas, we focused our research on Berwick Street. With its chaotic mixture of uses, it was an obvious stronghold of data. There are 33 media companies, 30 restaurants and cafés (including two pubs), seven fabric shops, six tailors, two COMING SOONs, one place of worship, beauticians, brothels, newsagents and one recently closed Co-op. To decipher Soho’s social structures behind the buzzer boxes we asked workers and residents to tell us who their friends were, which shops they used, where they have their coffee and whom we should talk to in Soho. These conversations were waypoints to revealing unseen relationships and directing us to the next discovery. If one building demonstrates the haphazard nature of the street and its occupants, it is 82-84 Berwick Street. The door’s buzzer box is an instant catalogue of the world beyond. Occupied in 1851 by a portrait painter, a cabinet maker, an actress, two

dressmakers, a doctor, an embroider, a servant, a bootmaker, a hairdresser and a journeyman, now the building is home to two architecture practices, two media companies, an events company, three tailors, two wine merchants who share their office with a band who practise at night, and a casting company. As the front door remains open to the public during the day the internal staircase becomes an extension of the street, a space for chance encounter and contingency. Richard Sennett describes open cities as those where growth ‘is a matter of evolution rather than erasure’. The tenants of 8284 Berwick Street will be leaving in nine months, time to make way for 13 new offices above a café and shop. ‘Will you be able to stay in the building?’ ‘No! No, of course not. It’ll be too expensive.’ Is new development in Soho offering opportunities for accidental networks and unplanned encounters, or is the loss of the shared stair detrimental to the future of Soho’s multiplicity?


68

Speculation and Control


69

Alexander Frehse Daniel Lee Milly Salisbury

From people to buzzer boxers, we navigated our way down the streets, up the stairs, through the doors, uncovering the rich mixture of Soho’s network of people and their stories. These drawings show the relationships that exist between the people of Soho, and illustrate how intermingled they are, forging the true spirit of the community.


Prop


posals


72

Lobby for Change Chiara Barrett Vacant ground-floor lobby spaces pose an increasing threat to Soho’s notorious ‘pop in and out’ culture. These prime value floor areas, which mediate between the city and the workplace, are reduced to branding vitrines, occupied by a sole receptionist and generic artwork, and more commonly associated with the City of London. As such, a new enterprise zone is proposed, where social and creative businesses that occupy ground-floor lobby space benefit from zero business rates. In return, the landowner receives rent from the occupiers and public realm credits from Westminster Council, and hence capitalises on a latent asset.


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74

Party Walls, Doors and Floors Daniel Lee The history of Soho could be told as a story of separate yet adjacent worlds. Some buildings used to have more than 30 uses: tailors would sit next to prostitutes, wine merchants next to hat-makers, gun-makers with waiters. This variety of people would establish relations by dividing and changing the spaces they lived or worked in. Soho’s urban fabric has continually responded to the complex and diverse lives of its inhabitants, often altered and manipulated by people and not architects. If all walls, floors and doors are free to be altered based on agreements made between neighbouring parties (businesses, residents, traders, craftspeople) we can scale up the conditions that have allowed Soho to be so rich. My Party Walls, Floors and Doors Act 2016 hopes to strengthen the relationships between spaces and ultimately create conversations at the point where their boundaries meet.


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76

Proposal title

Closed Loop Rainwater Recycling Vanessa Jobb As the global temperature rises, we are already experiencing warmer wetter winters and hotter drier summers. Water is the greatest mass flowing in and out of the city: it is essential to retain, use and reuse it wisely. Taking advantage of Soho’s ample roof areas, agricultural gardens develop across the borough – not just to supplement Soho’s thriving food industry, but also providing muchneeded green space. Communal gardens, exhibition spaces, and cafés sit together under glazed roof structures, which enable spaces to function through all weather while efficiently capturing rain. Colourful drains direct excess rain water into kerbside conduits through which water flows to storage tanks under Soho Square. From here water can be pumped out when required for cooling mists in summer (essential for Soho’s heat island) while also providing hydration for gardens and crops.


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78


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Soho Bureau Provision Emiliano Zavala This proposal is a visual manifestation of policies seeking a provision of suitable workspace as part of new developments in Soho, where office space is lost to high-end residential schemes. The policy is similar to Section 106 agreements and attempts to directly engage the architect and developer by suggesting a set of spatial requirements that celebrate what works well in Soho in terms of its micro-economy. The production units are stacked vertically on narrow plots, hidden in the upper floors behind the facades. The cafĂŠs, bars and pubs condense the crossover of the private and public where the building touches the ground. It is an urban strategy that works incrementally, one building at a time.


80

A Hole and a Hill Fearghal Moran


Reinterpreting Soho’s two largest Georgian squares: Soho Square is excavated to both to reveal Crossrail beneath and create a cavernous nightclub among its entrails; while the excavation’s spoil forms a hill on Golden Square, establishing a new vertical park reminiscent of the royal hunting grounds, beneath which is a research complex for the media and film industry. This will provide two unique public moments, two core spaces for Soho’s prime institutions.


82

Remaking Kemp House Maeve Dolan


83

If Soho wishes to remain one of the world’s most creative square miles, it’s imperative it can sufficiently renew itself. However, rising rents are an everincreasing barrier to the fresh creative talents the area needs to attract. This scheme looks at supplementing the proposed development plans for Kemp House with affordable workspace, primarily catering for those working in Soho’s existing clusters of film and advertising.


84

Vertical City Nicholas Keen


Soho is facing a rare challenge, which has very little precedence. I have focused on two factors of this vast and complex challenge: protection, integration and expressions of the industries which have made Soho their home. The other focus of my work has been on the public realm, with the latest advancement in technologies and how this is impacting our public realm. The Vertical City creates an urban framework that integrates the public realm into three dimensions with the proposed Crossrail entrance. It produces a sponge that people can easily move through while creating spaces for businesses and homes.


The Soho Initiative Raphael Arthur

86

03/

GREEN SPACE + LIGHTING

/ PA RA SIT E

0 2 // S AT E LL

THEATRE SPACE

MARKET STALLS

EXHIBITION SPACE

0 4 // P O P -U

WORKSPACE

P

IT E


The Soho Initiative is a spatial, social enterprise and public members’ club. It proposes cheap, crowd-funded, light-touch interventions via public appropriation of Soho’s public space. It seeks to achieve this by creating ad hoc public spaces, with guerrilla implementation methods; occupying wall and roof space and treating it as a site plane as well as the ground.

0 1 // F LA G

S H IP


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89

Soho Heat Island Milly Salisbury Soho’s inefficiencies are glorious. The whirring caverns of the backstreet offer a glimpse of the chaos within. Different rules may apply here, however no one can disregard its inefficiency. SHI seeks to unblock Soho’s lungs and celebrate the hot air constantly expelled from this 24-hour city in the city. Developers, residents and councillors agree: Soho is not like anywhere else. Is post-Crossrail development taking this into account? Hacking extract vents with breathing insertions and sharing heat through data furnacing, SHI occupies the heterogeneity of uses and plot sizes. The structures that form the inefficiency of this island don’t need to be lost in a sustainable Soho. 05.00 Cafe is closed.

Balloons are contracted. 07.00 Filter over vents converts whirr to Soho dawn chorus. 09.00 Rush hour. Crossrail balloon expands. 10.00 Café busy. Balloons expands. 11.00 Servers

busy heating data furnaces. 14.00 Crossrail quieter. Balloon contracts. 16.00 Impending deadline. Servers heating data furnaces. 21.00 Kitchen hot. Chef takes a fag break. 22.00 Bar wakes/heats up. Temporary screen inflated.


90

Urban Fabrica Fiona Stewart

ARCHER STREET A place to play

BATEMAN STREET A place to exchange


Although Soho suffers from a flat demographic, with the numbers of children and young people in the area well below the national average, there has always been a very strong sense of community. Stories of a Soho childhood are full of rich, timegenerous neighbours and an intimate village-like feel. Providing opportunities for both stuctured and free play, the proposition identifies a network of east-west streets to be reclaimed as public space programmed by specific community use, while the busier, more direct north-south connections would be undisturbed for deliveries and transport.

BEAK STREET A place to sit

BROADWICK STREET A place to protest


The Inner Block Alaric Campbell-Garratt

92

HOW CAN PARTICULARLY ARRANGED LIVE / WORK SPACES WITHIN INNER 'BL THE LEVELS OF INTERACTION OCCURRING VERTICALLY BUT TO COUNT

PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED FOR PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT +8 +7

"A HUMAN ZOO...HOM -PHIL THO

+6 +5

+7

PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION WORKS

+4

+6

+3

+5

+2

+4

+1

+3

GF

+2

-1

+1 GF -1

"IDENTIFYABLE - STEPHEN 26-34 BROADWICK STREET

20-24 BROADWICK STREET

PONTSARN INVESTMENTS

MARSH + PARSONS

OFFICE

PLANT

RESIDENTIAL

RETAIL

EXISITNG BLOCK CONDITION

ICK

DW

OA

BR

BER

T

REE

ST

WIC

K ST

POL

AND

"75% OF URBAN EM RESULT OF PEO BETWEEN BU

STR

EET

REE

T

20-24 BROADWICK STREET

SISTER RAY

EET

TR

YS

LA

RB

D'A

PHONICA RECORDS

BM RECORDS


Exploring new forms of mixed typologies (predominantly live/work), this project seeks more efficient, higher density models of development, especially concerned with infrastructural strains and cultural preservation. Considerations of street presence, historical conservation, vertical interaction and social inclusion were key to defining how such a proposal can both evolve yet respect the character of Soho.

LOCK' TYPOLOGIES BENEFIT THE URBAN GRAIN, NOT ONLY TO ENHANCE TERACT EVER INCREASING INFRASTRUCTURAL STRAINS IN SOHO.

ME TO EVERYONE" OMPSON

D'ARBLAY STREET 1650 M2

PORTLAND MEWS 350 M2

E COMMUNITY" N NORRIS

EXISTING URBAN GRAIN GREEN ROOFS AND PRODUCE

MISSIONS ARE THE OPLE MOVING UILDINGS".

MUSIC AND ARTS FINAL PROPOSITIONAL CONDIION

ROOFTOP RELATIONSHIPS 1650 M2

FASHION AND TEXTILES

BROADWICK / BERWICK STREET


94

The Continuous Circulation Phelan Heinsohn Cross-programming is a reality in Soho – Bernard Tschumi’s almost utopian theory constitutes an integral part of its character. The public space is becoming a transitional space – a chain of photo opportunities – and is beyond saving; whereas inside the buildings, behind unpretentious doors, exists a colourful authentic mix. Here, the circulation allows the individual programmes to interface with each other, and is where Tschumi’s ‘events’ (unforeseen encounters) happen. The Continuous Circulation retains existing pin-hole entrances on the existing facades, while creating internal pathways to encourage ‘events’ within the block. Adjacent staircases are connected, and all buildings get access to the structure in the courtyard. Proposing an alteration to listed building regulations, the fabric is no longer protected: rather, the circulation becomes protected, while the plugged-on programmes become entirely pluralistic in style, size or materiality.


95


96

Above: Frazer Haviz proposes a self-build, self-elevating tower for the homeless in Soho Square. Left: Ian Campbell re-imagines a typical office to residential conversion as a thriving creative hub. Right, below: Timm Lindstedt cuts new alleys into Soho’s perimeter blocks and implements cooperative fabrication facilities along them. Right, above: Roel Schiffers uses Berwick Street Market as an incubator.


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98

1

3

2


99

4

5

1: Aleks Stojakovic. 2: Jack Idle. 3: Phoebe Nickols. 4: Alexander Frehse. 5: Dawa Pratten creates a series of debating chambers throughout Soho Square and leading into Crossrail II that bridge the physical/digital divide. 6: Rachel Bow. 7: Fabio Maiolin creates a social infrastructure for the development of the local community.

The Hyde-Out 6

7

SOHO SHARING

Pubs and PUBS ANDcafés CAFÉS

EXISTING OFFICES

Empty EMPTY houses HOUSES

STREETS

Pending PENDINGsites SITES

Soho


d k and nt t ering

4

2

Chapter X: Title

B

3

Student Name Student Name Student Name

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100

1: Andrea Nolan creates a framework for shared 6 hybrid spaces between the food and creative industries. 2: Stuart Goldsworthy-Trapp. 3: Oscar Harleman’s deployable furniture can be attached to storefronts in order to activate the edge of the street. 4: Nathaniel Amissah. 5: Duncan McNaughton. 6: James Mackenzie.


© 2016 The London School of Architecture. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher. Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright. Editors Will Hunter James Pallister Sub-Editor Julia Dawson Printed by Kube Print With special thanks to Angie Pascoe, Bernie Katz, David Bieda, Doodle Bar, Ellis Woodman, Fenella Collingridge, Fred Scott, Frosso Pimenides, John Raynham, Le Gun, Lucy Musgrave, Mandana Ruane, Philip Thompson, Philip Turner, Robert Bevan, Roger Zogolovitch, Rosemarie MacQueen, Rowan Moore, Sir William Sargent, Soho Estates, St Anne’s Church, Steven Norris, Steve Smith, the Academy Club, the Groucho Club, the House of St Barnabas, the Revd Dr Adam Scott The London School of Architecture Charity number 1159927 Established 2015 Website the-lsa.org Faculty Founder / Director – Will Hunter Director of Inter-Practice – Deborah Saunt Director of Proto-Practice – Clive Sall Director of Critical Practice – James Soane Leader of Urban Studies – Tom Holbrook Urban Studies Tutor – Jay Gort Leader of Historical Studies – Alan Powers Leader of Technical Studies – Lewis Kinneir

Academic Court Nigel Coates (Chair), Farshid Moussavi, Leon van Schaik Trustees Crispin Kelly (Chair), Elsie Owusu (Vice-Chair), Roland Oakshett (Treasurer), James BullockWebster (Secretary), Nick Bliss, Niall Hobhouse, Davina Mallinckrodt, Diana Rice, Suzanne Trocmé Founding Patrons Niall Hobhouse Crispin Kelly Sir Terry Leahy Nadja Swarovski Founding Practices Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Grimshaw Idom Orms PDP London Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Scott Brownrigg Founding Benefactors Richard Collins Martin Halusa Sir Peter Mason Davina Mallinckrodt Host practices 2015/16 5th Studio, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, Allies and Morrison, Alma-nac, aLL Design, Carmody Groarke, C.F. Møller, Citizens Design Bureau, Cullinan Studio, DSDHA, Duggan Morris, Grimshaw, Haworth Tompkins, Hût Architecture, Idom, IF_DO, Jestico + Whiles, Liddicoat & Goldhill, Mikhail Riches, Orms, PDP London, Prewett Bizley, Red Deer, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Studio Egret West, Scott Brownrigg, SODA, Tate Harmer, Farrells, Waugh Thistleton


Profile for The London School of Architecture

The London School of Architecture Arrives in Soho  

The first publication – ever – from the London School of Architecture, showing the work from our trailblazing cohort of students. The book f...

The London School of Architecture Arrives in Soho  

The first publication – ever – from the London School of Architecture, showing the work from our trailblazing cohort of students. The book f...

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