Hidden Spectacles : An Investigation into Park Royal
As the heart of London's food production / processing and light industry, the future of Park Royal is at a critical juncture with the arrival of HS2 and Crossrail at Old Oak Common. What is the current urban grain of the site and makes it so important to retain?
Mapping Park Royal
Defined as SIL (Strategic Industrial Land) by the London Plan, Park Royal is made up of a patchwork of light industry and small businesses that enjoy connectivity to central London, where there is a symbiotic relationship between manufacturing and the creative industries.
Conceptual Mappings : Park Royal as Knuckle between Industry and Living
1:5000 scale mappings of industry, key network lines and flows through the site against measurements of diurnal patterns of public activity
Schooling and Education as Edge between Industry and Living
Conceptual massing models studying the tectonics of introducing an educational facility as a soft edge between the worker's housing and industrial premises on Minerva Road, Park Royal
Physical Model and Digital Drawing
Designing Building as Pedagogy
The act of 'building' and the building itself as a pedagogical entity for the academy is designed from structure through to wider legislation and curriculum. Through creating 3 scales of timber construction (Small - The Joint, Medium - The Spaces, Large - The Structure), students and residents of the wider Park Royal community can come to-gether as an act of co-building this new community asset - A Maker's academy in the day to address the high levels of youth unemployment in the area and a flexible, transforming school hall space into a community building, akin to the German Mehrzweckhalle.
Main Frame Assembly and a Catalogue of Spaces
Through the spacing of the vertical timber studs, a collection of spaces care created, from openings, learning booths, nooks for co-working and learning facades that reveal the environmental and performance dynamics of different ventilation or build-up strategies.
Physical Model and Digital Drawing
Student Assembly Manual
An instruction manual for the student assembly of the Minerva Commons Academy's main halls
Community Assembly Manual
An instruction manual for the community assembly of the Minerva Commons Academy's mobile furniture and fittings
Scoping of Participatory Elements and Façade Study
Using the scale model as an indicator of materiality (Polycarbonate Panels spaced between the timber studs), these drawings indicate the level of engagement and scope in which the different actors within the MCA contribute to the project.
MINERVA COMMONS ACADEMY
Park Royal is currently at an urban and theoretical juncture. With the boring of a new piece of state infrastructure and an insatiable demand for 'growth', London's industrial heartland for food production and light manufacturing is under threat. Often viewed in passing as trainline converge towards the North-Eastern fringes of the estate, the area provides for one-third of London's food supplies alongside skilled makers that facilitate the city's creative industries.
As the OPDC (Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation) seek to supply 25,000 new homes and generate 65,000 new jobs with the arrival of Crossrail and HS2 at Old Oak Common, the socio-economic landscape of Park Royal is shifting, and is one that could improve access, connectivity and simultaneously disrupt and displace the people and praxis that exist within it. Situated next to one of London's most deprived neighborhoods, this proposal seeks to re-negotiate the boundary condition between industry and living, by introducing a vocational academy that transform the site into a pedagogical and social catalyst.
Building (verb) as Pedagogy
The MCA is an alternative and vocational model of education that addresses the youth unemployment and high youth deprivation in the area. As an "Academy", the school will educate 50 students a year, from Years 10-11 containing a heavily making-lead programme. Teaching will be lead by the makers of Minerva Road and integrated workshops below the transformable school halls become open to the local community and startups diurnally.
Building as Community Resource
The current disconnect between the residential estate and industry is negotiated through the provision of community hall and maker spaces, similar to a German Mehrzweckhalle. Open access for local residents and light industry create a local ecology of makers and thinkers that co-design, fabricate and assemble worktops, fittings and furniture for the local common good. The school halls that are on roller units are transformed between night and day into school and workspaces.
Building as Urban-Social Catalyst
The catalytic component of this building and programme allows for the integration and collaboration between residents, businesses and makers through the profess of learning through making. By empowering students and the local youth to build and make through the academy, the relationship between Minerva Road and the Wesley Estate can be collectively transformed. Skills gained can be used to refit the ageing housing stock into rentable units for living and working, supplying an extra 600 affordable dwellings for the area in line with the OPDC Area plan.
The MCA becomes a testbed for making, skill share, entrepreneurship and collaboration between currently opposing communities.
For the Design Realisation Report underpinning the technical design and delivery of the project, click here
Design Realisation Prize
Distinction in Design
Project / MArch (Year 4) Architectural Design , Bartlett Unit 13
Design Tutors / Sabine Storp + Patrick Weber
Year / 2019