Our main priority is helping clients make great architecture that serves their needs and responds in a vital way to its context and cultural surroundings. In order to do this and to further the studios own knowledge base we invest in a wide programme of research which enables us to be inventive and to find new and sometimes unexpected solutions to the problems that we are posed.
We work in collaboration with like-minded consultants in order to further our thinking and skill level and since our inception, we have always looked to develope concepts grounded by good research that have a light touch on the planet, are low in carbon and energy-use. We look to our research to help us and our clients mitigate the impact of climate change.
Alongside our collaborators GB Urban Studio and Francesca Perry our shortlisted competition entry for the London Festival of Architecture's public realm competition for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea proposes a series of ‘green pockets’ across Notting Hill Gate that would become places of relaxation, leisure, culture, play, and greenery – and which celebrate sustainability and local creativity.
One big idea for the competition was to replace the old metal railings in the middle of the busy main road running eastwards from the Tube station with planters of bamboo, to add greenery into this traffic-heavy area and help improve air quality. This would continue the 1990s transformation in Notting Hill Gate, where trees replaced railings.
Our collaboration believe in reducing waste, so wanted to repurpose these removed metal railings to become new forms of street furniture, combining them with wooden additions to form public seating, high desks, planters, cycle parking, play equipment and even exhibition stands to showcase local culture. Situated in the ‘green pockets’, these transformed railings would be joined by night-time lighting, community murals, more plants, and sustainable public seating made from recycled timber and rubble.
Repurposing the metal railings reinforces the commitment to keep the carbon footprint of our proposal to the minimum. With this approach we take advantage of the embodied energy that was originally used for its fabrication to build ‘new’ street furniture for Nothing Hill Gate. In order to complement well with the recycled railings, we carefully considered the following materials based on their environmental credentials: Responsible sourced timber for light-weight and tactile elements and
K-briq (bricks made from 90% recycled building materials) when robust and heavy duty performance is required.
Total Cost: £100k
Gross Floor Area: 2000 sqm
Client: LFA -Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Collaborators: GB Urban Studio & Francesca Perry
Visualisations: GB Urban Studio