We Made That have been appointed by Haringey Councilalongside artwork curators UpProjects and lighting designers Studio Dekka for the design anddelivery of public realm improvements to Penstock Tunnel in Wood Green. Thetunnel runs under the Great North EasternRailway line and forms a strategiclink connecting Wood Green town centre and Cultural Quarter with AlexandraPalace and Park and Hornsey to the west.
The proposals will seek to create better connections between the east and west of the borough with improvements including drainage, wayfinding, lighting and landscaping, along with an integrated artwork commission. The project is part of the wider Connecting Wood Green programme supported by the Greater London Authority’s Good Growth Fund.
The project will be rooted in a public and stakeholder engagement programme and we have recently completed a series of walking workshops to gain valuable feedback on the existing conditions and future aspirations of the site from local residents, organisations and businesses.
The recently completed Burnt Oak High Street works have been long-listed along with 35 other projects for the RIBA MacEwen Award for ‘the common good’. The judges included Julia Barfield, director of Marks Barfield; Yuli Cadney-Toh, architect director of BDP Bristol; Anisha Jogani, placemaking team leader of Croydon Council; Kathy MacEwen, town planner; and Hugh Pearman, editor of the RIBA Journal.
The works in Burnt Oak were an outcome of the ‘Burnt Oak Looking Forward’ Town Centre Strategy, which was commissioned by the London Borough of Barnet and produced by a team comprising We Made That, Retail Revival, Maddison Graphic and Stockdale. The strategy provided a set of projects for Burnt Oak town centre, which were shaped to be delivered through the GLA’s High Street Fund. A series of ‘Hot Spot’ interventions, which have been delivered as the first on-the-ground actions from the Town Centre Strategy, include a distinctive news kiosk, upgrades to the Burnt Oak Library entrance, and a suite of coordinated improvements to pockets of public realm combined with building frontage improvements.
We’re looking for the very best people to join our growing team. You should be talented, ambitious and tenacious. Right now there are several roles we’re hoping to fill to work on exciting new projects:
At this time of year, we like to prove that We Made That can actually make some stuff. For this year’s creative Christmas extravaganza, We Made That returned to Blackhorse Lane to learn about leather making at Blackhorse Workshop.
Mia Sabel and Colin Coutts from SABEL Saddleryprovided our team with an introduction to the basics of traditional saddlery, including leather preparation, double-stitching and hand-burnishing. More information about the Mia and Colin’s workshop here.
Festive wishes to all our clients, collaborators, friends and colleagues!
We Made That is delighted to have supported four successful Creative Enterprise Zone bids, as announced last Friday by Mayor Sadiq Khan. Creative Enterprise Zones are districts of London in which targeted and tailored planning, investment and support activities for the creative and cultural industries will be delivered, supported by more than £11m of funding from the Greater London Authority. Together with Hatch Regeneris and Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy we worked with local authority partners, creative businesses, cultural organisations and educational institutions to deliver the research and action plan proposals for the following successful Creative Enterprise Zones:
Croydon Creatives: Croydon is fast becoming an attractive place for creatives with affordable space and great transport connections. Croydon Creatives will offer business rate relief for creative start-ups who locate in the Creative Enterprise Zone, studio subsidy for under 25 year olds, and start-up incubator with business support.
Hackney Wick & Fish Island: One of the most recognisable homes for creatives in the world, the Creative Enterprise Zone will enable artists to put down roots in the area. Planning rules will help develop a pipeline of affordable workspace with new initiatives helping local people access jobs. This will strengthen the links with East Bank on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Shapes Lewisham: An emerging hub, Deptford and New Cross has no shortage of creative talent at institutions like Goldsmith’s University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire. The Creative Enterprise Zone will see ‘move on’ studios for graduates, with start up support and local studios opening up for community use.
Tottenham: An established cluster for fashion, film and furniture makers, the Creative Enterprise Zone will secure affordable space and warehouse living. It will upskill small and micro businesses and get local young people into creative jobs and manufacturing.
Read more about Creative Enterprise Zones and the successful bids here.
The issue, titled ‘New Modes: Redefining Practice’ is guest edited by Alma-Nac, and explores how a generation of architects - including We Made That - are leading the way towards new forms of practice by challenging conventional ideas of ‘The Architect’ and reclaiming the notion of architecture as something public that should work ultimately towards the collective good.
Work has been completed on public realm and shopfront improvements along East Street in Walworth. The project,which was commissioned by the London Borough of Southwark, includes light touch shopfront improvements to anumber of Southwark Council-owned properties along the street - as well as a new bench and signage to the DawesStreet entrance to the market.The works are part of a wider project that also delivered new market stalls, moveablemarket furniture and new market branding for East Street Market.
Come and join us for a fun-filled family day in the Kingward House open space. There’ll be lots of activities for everyone on the day- including face painting, bag printing, music and a visit from Spitalfields City Farm.There will also be opportunities to: see the proposed layout for the new planting and play space at Kingward House open space; register yourinterest for the proposed community food garden in the Old Montague Street green space; and learn how to take care of your own growing bed.
We Made That are looking for an experienced urban designer/ planner with knowledge of the London regeneration landscape to join our growing team. We are delivering an increasing number of large masterplanning projects and influential spatial strategies. Our current team of 18 is expected to expand in the near future and we are seeking a new team member capable of working alongside the practice partners and associates. The ideal candidate will be responsible for delivering masterplans and area strategies at a range of scales across the capital.
Candidates applying should:
have a Masters qualification in urban design or similar related subject
have demonstrable strategic or master planning experience in the UK
have the ability to work independently on project development
be seeking opportunity for career progression within the office from this level to a role pursuing, secure and shaping the urban-scale outputs of the practice
demonstrate a powerful public conscience in pursing project goals and practice aims
You must be a talented urban designer and have good technical knowledge with a great eye for presentation. You should have an ability to drive project design development. Excellent communication skills and a desire to contribute to lively, creative & productive team working required. Experience with GIS software and Adobe CS are essential.
Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK and would ideally be available to start in September 2018.
Further details here. Deadline for applications is midday Friday 24th August 2018
Holly spoke at the Centre for London Conference, ‘Under Pressure: The Way Ahead for London’s Streets’.
Managing conflicting pressures on London’s surface transport system and public realm requires new thinking. With the city’s population growing, the event explored the future of mobility and place in London, in particular the implications for the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. Centre for London are calling on the Mayor to make more efficient use of the city’s finite transport, walking and cycling, and make the most of new technology.
We Made That have been appointed to lead a team to producea strategic masterplan for Park Royal Centre, which willset out an ambitious vision toaccommodate a minimum of 1,400 new jobs, 650 new homes and 3,000sqm of new towncentre floorspace.Designatedas a neighbourhood centre and sitting at the heart of London’s largestindustrial estate,the proposals for Park RoyalCentre will tackle transport, public realm and built environment enhancements,as well asimproving the function, quality and health of this place foremployees and residents.
The planned transformation of Park Royal Centre will be complemented by our team’s development of an early activation programme that is geared towards delivering change now.
Park Royal, located immediately to the west of Old Oak, is London’s largest industrial estate. The majority of this area is identified as a Strategic Industrial Location (SIL) in the London Plan and OPDC’s Local Plan. Today the area accommodates a wide range of businesses from small start-ups to large multi-national brands which operate across a range of sectors. The vision for Park Royal is for it to continue to thrive as an industrial area and for it to accommodate even more businesses and jobs in future.
Arup, working with Grimshaw Architects, has been awarded a contract to help develop and refine the detailed plans for the London Euston station, due to be complete in 2026.
The new station will be designed with input from local communities, using best practice principles from stations around the world, and guidelines and specifications endorsed by an independent panel of leading architects and designers.
Grimshaw is leading the architecture and urban design for HS2’s Euston station in collaboration with a multidisciplinary design team including Publica; We Made That; Haptic Architects; Portland Design; LDA Design; and Future Pace.
Working with HS2 Ltd, the team is tasked with delivering:
People-centred design, which offers high-quality customer experience including shopping, business facilities, and opportunities for art and leisure
Architecture which enables accessibility for all, including step-free access from street-to-seat which is simple and easy to navigate
‘Timeless design’ for future-proofing and flexibility so stations accommodate changes in technology and in the population
Respecting and contributing to the physical and cultural legacy of the location – responding to the local built and natural environment, using local materials and ensuring local people identify with their station and have pride in it
An independent HS2 Design Panel has scrutinised HS2’s guidelines and specifications for the stations, and will continue to play a key role in reviewing the detailed designs as they develop through 2018.
Chair of the HS2 Design Panel and founding director of dRMM architects, Professor Sadie Morgan said: “We welcome the appointment of these world class designers and look forward to working with them and HS2 to help deliver stations which set new standards in design, and passenger experience for all. This project should strive to provide a legacy of great architecture of which Britain can be truly proud.”
Grimshaw Partner, Declan McCafferty, has said, “We are delighted to be working with Arup to steer the design of the most exciting station redevelopment in the UK. A unique aspect of our proposal is the collaboration with small and medium-sized design practices with a range of different disciplines, who will work with us to create a fantastic new station as part of an engaging and lively public realm, with a superb environment for both passengers and local communities.’
Tempted by a change of scene? Feel like your skills could offer more? Political and social conscience nagging you? Itchy feet?
Urban Research Assistant
We are looking for an early-career researcher, with a minimum degree- level qualification in urban/cities studies, political sciences or a similar related discipline, to join our practice to work on a number of live research and strategy projects. The role includes contributing fieldwork and desk- based data auditing to a number of research commissions spanning spaces of culture, industry and employment.
We are looking for an experienced urban designer/ masterplanner with knowledge of the London regeneration landscape to join our growing team. We Made That is delivering increasing large masterplanning projects and influential spatial strategies. The ideal candidate will be responsible for coordinating a team delivering masterplans and area strategies at a range of scales across the capital.
We’re delighted to announce that Hannah Martin and Melissa Meyer have been promoted to be Associates at We Made That in recognition of the fantastic work and important role they play in the growing practice. Hannah will take an increased role in leading masterplans and urban strategies whilst Melissa will expand her role in leading the urban research projects of the practice.
‘Purple’ is a film which explores the Anthropocene – ‘the era in which humans’ impact on Earth is the dominant influence on the changing environment.’
The viewer is confronted with six screens of captivating footage, which juxtapose serene imagery of nature and landscapes from around the world, with both chaotic and intimate scenes of human activity. The film hurls the viewer around scenes of historic conflict, car crash dummy tests, and screaming concertgoers, to a simple song recital within a family home.
Akomfrah’s film purposefully presents the ‘scarring’ of nature as a result of human life with piercing shots of electricity pylons and sprawls of waste. The later chapters of the film demonstrate the well-known consequences of the ‘Anthropocene’ era with dramatic scenes relating to the impacts of climate change.
John Akomfrah is a British artist and filmmaker who is known for his engaging multi-layered film compositions, splicing archival footage with beautifully shot footage of his own. His previous films are characterized by themes including migration, memory, identity and race.
The latest issue of The Unlimited Edition is out now! Issue VI: Aarhus visits Denmark’s ‘second city’ and this year’s European Capital of Culture to explore themes of urban development, culture-led regeneration, spaces for industry, new forms of workspace, social integration and creative education.
We Made That took a short break from the grindstone to wander through this north London oasis with forager, Martin Bailey. It turns out that even this less-than-arcadian open space is brimming with edible goodies.
No more than a short walk from the café we found ground ivy (for tea, salads, soup), rosehips (tea, gin), sorrel (salads), mugwort (tea for trippy dreams), rose petals (gin), elderberries (gin) and blackberries (jam, gin…) Seems like most things can be added to gin.
Venturing further afield we wandered past more than 10 different varieties of mushrooms: tall ones, blushing ones, unidentified ones and tasty ones. But, don’t try these at home, unless you have a ‘Martin’ with you. Last, but not least, we rustled through a huge patch of horseradish on top of a mound next to the railway and an unsuspecting sunbather.
Although a more rural location might present a less contaminated option, it turns out you don’t have to travel far for a full-on foraging feast!
In 1981 the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) was established under Thatcher’s government to regenerate the Docklands area of East London. The LDDC in effect abolished all democratic planning powers across the docklands area resulting in neither the Greater London Council (GLC) nor local authorities having any planning locus.
At this time Hilary Wainwright was working within the Popular Planning Unit at the GLC, under Ken Livingstone’s mayoralty. The mandate on which Labour Livingstone’s GLC was elected intended that the docks would become a transport hub with the associated processing industries, whilst opposing the proposed City airport. In her role within the Popular Planning Unit, Hilary was a key supporter of local organisations within the docklands who were developing an alternative to the proposed airport, called The People’s Plan.
The result of the People’s Plan movement was a 40-page document, which provided a detailed alternative plan for future of the docklands. The plan covered housing requirements, the introduction of a transport interchange, utilising the docks for cargo handling and ship repair, and employment opportunities for women. The movement triggered a public inquiry into the proposed city airport, to which the People’s Plan presented alternatives. The overall aim of the People’s Plan was to stop the airport and subsequently ensure that it, or at least development ideas from it, became part of Newham Council’s Local Plan for the area.
What is The People’s Plan and how was the GLC’s involvement with its development?
HW: The GLC’s involvement with The People’s Plan began as a result of the restrictions imposed by the LDDC, which meant we didn’t have the power to implement our mandate for the London Docklands. We needed alternative sources, and the Popular Planning Unit had developed an understanding that looked to the collective power and capacity of Londoners as being crucial to developing any effective industrial strategy, across the whole of London.
Our ethos was to start where people were already active, as those who were protesting, resisting and acting usually had an idea about what they wanted. On this basis we were already working with people on the docklands including the Joint Docklands Action Group (JDAG), who had done a lot of research and were firmly rooted. Through them we discovered a strong movement developing against the airport.
The group’s first proposal was to have a People’s Plan Centre (PPC) where people could come in and discuss their ideas about the future of the docklands. Two local grannies acted like shop stewards for the estates, led this initiative and convened a meeting to discuss the negative effects of the LDDC plans, regarding local housing, jobs and pollution. The GLC supported the group by funding both the development of the People’s Plan Centre and the employment of a team that would be accountable to a committee of local people. The process began to gather people’s ideas about what could be developed around the docks instead of the proposed airport. In addition to the PPC, visits were made to a number of groups including trade unions, tenants associations, mother-and-toddler groups and small businesses.
Why didn’t the People’s Plan get adopted?
HW: The implementation of the Plan proved difficult owing to the restrictions imposed by the LDDC. The inspector of the public inquiry ruled in favour of the airport, partly owing to big companies such as Mowlem and Ryanair strongly promoting the proposal. Nonetheless, the requirements the airport had to meet were influenced by the People’s Plan - they weren’t just given a blank cheque. It was a defeat but it built up people’s confidence to get resources from the GLC to implement their ideas. However, once the airport was given the go ahead, that determined the development of the area. There was no way the docks could be used anymore and most of the small local businesses were cleared.
Unfortunately due to political context of Thatcher abolishing all planning powers within the LDDC area, the GLC had little to bring to the alliance apart from financial support for the People’s Plan. By contrast is the case of Coin Street (http://coinstreet.org/) where not only could we support their plans, but the GLC could use their powers to compulsory purchase the land and stop the developer, whilst also providing funding for the alternative plan to be implemented. That is a stark illustration of what is possible when an elected body has real powers and works with a community organisation.
Do you think The People’s Plan would be better received today, or would it be harder to champion this approach to planning?
HW: I think planning policies are not strong enough; the developer appears to have total power. However, developers are now increasingly sensitive to questions of image and more nervous about community reaction and how it plays in the press. Perhaps a ‘People’s Plan approach – a community getting organised and putting forward their own ideas whilst being supported by a local authority – would hold greater bargaining power today. Unfortunately I think it is about using powers of propaganda and image busting rather than local authorities being able to use any strategic powers. Perhaps if there were many such initiatives it could lead to more power for local authorities or the GLA.
Initially the People’s Plan struggled to gather ideas from local people. Do you think this would be easier today as people tend to expect to be consulted and contribute their ideas?
HW: For most of their lives people have been dominated, they have not been able to control their futures or their environment, their community, their workplace. They are not in a situation where they feel they have power over what happens. They make an intuitive calculation ‘people are asking for our ideas but what is the point if they are not going to be implemented?’. Now there is more of sense that direct action can work, there is greater belief for standing up for what you believe and standing up against injustice – for example the E15 Mothers group. When people are facing brutal attacks people will stand up. That is often the basis that will lead to alternatives, but only under those circumstances. It’s whether that can ever be supported in a way that leads to greater power, which can stop the developers and trigger some new public led dynamic. Unfortunately there is so little public money to put into alternatives.
Given the scale that the LDDC covered do you think it was a necessary tool, which was poorly orchestrated or was it simply the wrong approach to regenerating this part of London at this time?
HW: The area could have been regenerated if local authorities had had the power and the capital to build houses. I imagine the housing was run down and there was no attempt to regenerate local industry. There could have been an investment bank to support local businesses.
I don’t think the regeneration of the area needed such a market driven institution. The LDDC didn’t respond to any democratic processes. It did have to accept the inquiry into the airport but apart from that it eliminated all local planning powers. It was almost like a free enterprise zone, which offered businesses a zone that was free of government legislation, and any democratic or environmental controls. Any local development bank would need to be within a democratic framework. The public investment resources were good, however I think the process was mainly about attracting private money by having no regulations.
What are the positive / negative legacies of the LDDC that we see today?
HW: The LDDC has been one of the culprits of the appalling housing situations in London, as it facilitated mass creation of high rise, high value housing around the docklands, near the City. It created this idea of ‘housing for the City’, which set the price levels for the whole of London. It was responsible for all the luxury housing around Canary Wharf and Limehouse, which pushed out local people and as result had repercussions for the whole city.
What lessons can be learnt for development corporations, which are operating as mechanisms for regenerating London or other parts of the UK today?
HW: Any development initiative should be under democratic leadership. Something like a decentralised national investment bank could work where you have the national level, but also a regional and local level of control. At the GLC we had a Greater London Enterprise Board, but that was set up by the GLC and therefore it was accountable to an elected body, and its board was made up of councillors, GLC officers and trade union representatives. So whether it is called a development corporation or an investment bank - you do need some investment money, and you need it to be decentralised to respond to people’s knowledge and capacity - respond to initiatives like the People’s Plan.
We Made That have recently been appointed by London Borough of Waltham Forest to develop design proposals for improvements to Cheney Row Open Space including a new community building. The project is within the Lee Valley Regional Park and will include supporting works to improve ecological interest, but it will also provide healthy, safe and welcoming open space improvements for existing and new communities.
The space have the potential to support more uses and activity, so a small community hub for events, workshops and gatherings is planned as a focal point. It will help Cheney Row Open Space be an important place in the neighbourhood. We will be working with local people to shape proposals over summer and autumn 2017.