What Architecture planning application on Shoreditch train station

Due to the hidden area of this defunct Station and low use by the general public this area is highly dangerous and it appears very unwelcoming. Although the area is highly creative there aren’t many formal spaces or galleries to exhibit this thriving art of Brick lane. The area is full of bars, clubs and drinking establishments that is considered uncommon place for families with kids to come to. As well as that there are high crime and drug abuse, which keeps the public far away from this area.

I think the proposal from What Architecture is highly capable in accommodating the needs of the public to provide them much safer and suitable environment. Also the station will be more appealing to the general public through this design proposal.The proposal considers the views of this building within the area and how visitors from other places will see it. The proposal thought about the visual beauty that this building will add on the Allen Gardens and how this will have an effect on the visitors to the area especially for the coming Olympics. The proposal is making Brick lane as “Welcoming as possible to visitors this summer.”

The proposal brings the art community of Brick lane together through having the gallery in the upper ground floor plan. Also since the cafe in the building provides non-alcoholic refreshments there will be all different kind of people coming to the area. This reflects a big change on this dangerous area and definitely will improve it into a much safer environment and welcoming place.

Considering the fact that the area around Shoreditch Station where the site is located presents a high crime rate, What Architecture have come up with a design to reduce it and improve certain community  aspects.

The proposal includes a temporary gallery which they intend to make it accessible for all classes of people , a shop and a cafe. These will attract more people to the area which they hope will decrease the risk of crimes being committed because of the “natural surveillance”.  The artificial surveillance will help and the CCTV cameras will also record the activity of the surrounding buildings, making the whole area safer.

In the impact statement it is written that “the local community is welcome to participate in any event held at the property”. This combined with the “temporary” art gallery made me believe that only in certain days will the building be used for the general public service, which leads to a considerable variation in the number of people in the area, therefor the natural surveillance. But what about the days when there will be no event held, would Pedley street go back to its “public toilet” status?  In comparison to the old proposal, of the block flats and the penthouse freely given to the community for a music center to use it, even though less people would probably populate the surrounding area but it would be a constant flux of people.  My idea is that maybe they should think of adding another programme to the present proposal that combines the invasion of people on even days with the constant flux for the community-used space from the former proposal.

I do support the idea of having family events and I think the community will greatly benefit from this, regarding interaction between neighbors but also an artistic education given to the local people. The local economy would also benefit as artistic activities will attract tourists to the area as well as providing employment opportunities. The nearby park would also become a safer, lighter, cleaner space.

I find the project really closely related to our ethos as a practice, and I think a good idea to bring the community together and interaction between the neighbors would be to make them work together on something they would benefit from afterwards. Like for example getting them directly involved in the decision of what the programme of the building should be, maybe even the construction on the project.

Review by Riam Ibrahem and Alexandra Arad


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