This studio led by developer Jonathan Emery (Lendlease), architects Jamie von Klemperer, Forth Bagley and John Bushell (Kohn Pedersen Fox), and teaching assistant Caitlin Gucker Kanter Taylor (Yale) probes the potential of high-density mixed-use development as a catalyst for urban regeneration and infrastructural investment.
The studio takes as its site a large tract of underused industrial and infrastructural land on the western edge of Central London, England called Old Oak. In the first part of the studio, students will analyze precedent regeneration projects, using these existing models as references to develop a preliminary mixed-use masterplan that will reposition the site as a catalyst for social and economic change. The lion share of the semester will be spent developing the nodal component of the masterplan – a single building, or collection of buildings that represents the “core” of the project. The studio can roughly be divided into the following parts:
Part 1: Analysis (Weeks 1-2)
In the first two weeks of the studio, students will work in teams of 3 to research, analyze, diagram and curate precedent projects of relevance to the Old Oak masterplanning exercise. These projects will be introduced by the professors and will include projects by Lendlease in Sydney and Melbourne as well as KPF projects like Earls Court and Hudson Yards, among others. The professors will also introduce students to historical redevelopment projects within London like the Barbican and South Bank projects in an effort to better analyze what works and doesn’t in the London context.
Part 2: Masterplan (Weeks 3-6)
Following Part 1, students will continue in their teams of 3 to develop masterplans for the Old Oak regeneration. These preliminary masterplans will consider issues such as a) program adjacencies and quantum, b) infrastructure/architecture interchanges, and c) greenspace and public space networks. Each masterplan must demonstrate how it will impact social and economic change within a greater citywide context. These masterplans will be presented in London during the week of travel in Week 6.
Part 3: Design (Weeks 7-16)
Following the conclusion of Part 2 as well as the site visit in London, students will work independently on the development of a single building or group of related buildings within the core of their masterplans. The three zones – roughly divisible as 1) Station, 2) Neighborhood, and 3) CBD Commerical areas – must demonstrate how they reinforce and strengthen the goals of the masterplan through mixed-use programming and design. The studio mid-review in Week 9 will serve as a basis for checking the preliminary design approach of the building. The studio final-review in Week 16 will be the conclusion of the project and studio. All teams will work and present in the same format (Same model materials, key views, density measures, and diagrams) in an effort to allow for direct comparison and analysis, as well as to provide a common studio graphic “language.”
The goal of the studio is to identify alternative models for accommodating density through architecture. Over the course of the semester, numerous paradigms for designing such a vast and dense single development will be proposed. The most successful projects will embrace the vast size and scope of the challenge by creating clear infrastructural networks and multiple architectural solutions that break down the large scale and challenge assumptions about what a comprehensive mixed-use development can hope to achieve within the London and global contexts. Key questions the studio hopes to answer are: a heavy infrastructure and friendly residential neighborhoods coexist? And how can the development of mixed-use program be leveraged to make infrastructure pay for itself?