Lightwells & Deadhouse, South Wing, Somerset House, London.
4 October – 10 November 2013
Earlier this year, RIBA London teamed up with the Mayor of London, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Landscape Institute, as well as Partners Ordnance Survey and developer Qatari Diar, to launch a new Forgotten Spaces ideas competition for 2013. The competition asked participants to identify redundant spaces across Greater London and invited innovative design proposals for re-use and regeneration.
A ‘forgotten space’ could be small or large – a grassy verge, a wasteland, an unused car park, a derelict building, an empty unit, an underpass or a flyover. The proposal could be simple or complex, a commercial or public facility, a piece of public art or a new building. The main requirement was that it responded to the surrounding area and served a function for the local community.
Designed by architecture practice – Studio Glowacka and communications designers Thomas Matthews, the exhibition is located in Somerset House’s own hidden passageways and coal holes; the Lightwells and Deadhouse.
The proposals were exhibited amongst scaffolding and construction-site structures, which in turn presented the schemes alongside models and immersive sculptural 3 D pieces. The exhibition featured 26 innovative propositions to renovate a series of London’s disused and abandoned spaces which restore them into public access sites. The Deadhouse features a number of tombstones dating back to the 17th century built into the walls. They were moved here from a neighbouring chapel that pre-dates the construction of Somerset House.
The winning proposal was designed by 4orm, the Fleeting Memories proposal was chosen from 26 finalists. The North-London based practice planned to resurrect the subterranean waterway, creating a ‘place of delight, recreation and relaxation’ next to St Pancras Old Church.
The second prize went to Studio Pink’s Aquadocks – an ambitious scheme to transform the derelict space under the Silvertown Way Flyover into a public pool and spa.
A collaboration between Chris Allen, Marcus Andren, Michael Gyi took third place award. The trio proposed converting the same East End flyover into a microbrewery.