The Coronavirus lockdown presents the greatest challenge to the public nature of cities in our lifetime. During the year the work of this platform shifted as we observed that the regulation associated with private space began to control movement in all types of space, whether public, private, interior or exterior.
The academic year began with a study of the new London Plan, which declares that due to the increasing density of the city, internal and elevated spaces such as museums and sky gardens are now part of London’s ‘public realm’. We walked extensively through London, documenting the behaviour and actions of people in archetypal public spaces such as Trafalgar Square, and newly designated spaces, the Sky Gardens at the Walkie Talkie, where we made a critique of its regulation, surveillance and access. We met with members of the GLA Regeneration team and contributed ideas to the Mayor’s design guidelines on interior public space.
During lockdown we have observed changes in public space in London, Beijing and Shanghai which have shaped our attitudes towards the future city. Each student produced a Public Space Charter, which guided their final projects at 22 Bishopsgate – a self-proclaimed ‘vertical village’. By proposing new uses and connections to amenities in the building, the students have designed prototypes for a more democratic, free and accessible type of interior public space.
Friends and Partners
Josie Appleton, Manifesto Club
Karen Cook, PLP Architects
Ricardo Flores, Flores & Prats
Eva Prats, Flores & Prats
Kirsten Dunne, GLA
Paul Harper, GLA
Kathryn Timmins, GLA
George Ramsay, Geared Partnerships