Yinan Zhu
China

Staying Vertical

Dissertation title
New type of public space to provide more quirkier, less corporate, greener and more distinctive uses for office workers

This project is the exploration of Tyler Court, a unique somewhat narrow opening between two buildings in Soho. A space that also operates as a “short cut” facilitating through access from one street to another. This unique “gap” further demonstrates a diversity of spaces, textures, dimensions and perspectives in an area of London already packed with considerable differences.

As public spaces become more popular, it is required to accommodate different users throughout the day. Solutions must be found for everyone, not just the dominant group. As Soho becomes more crowded, public space equality becomes a growing issue. Then the growth of POPS - privately owned public space - has raised real concerns regarding negative and restrictive use. Soho needs different types of spaces, identikit POPS with grey seats, puny birch or sad espaliered trees or long rows of wooden benches, cannot become the dominant model.

The diversity of this space however is more closely associated with a relatively closed group of local users who use the space mainly in response to their work needs.

Given the need for personal space in Soho and the lack of it for those working in the area thought was given to how this space may be adapted to fit such a need. Principally this would be done by it being more closely considered for the personal need of this relatively closed group of people, who spend most of the working day in relatively close proximity of each other and in this space. So, this project aims to offer more quirkier, less corporate, greener and more distinctive uses for office workers.

According to the research and outcome of workshops in Tyler’s Court, focus on office worker’s specific needs, eleven different type of furniture were added to in this space: outdoor dining and dancing hall, kinetic social space, social staircase, slide, bridges of game, vertical herb garden, theatrical coffee shop, standing area with pivoted window, bridge, bird’s nest, performance window, setting ‘connection’ between office workers who work for different companies and invariably come from different countries.


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