Cristina Gaidos: Place for Industry


London is a world city. It is simultaneously expanding and contracting, growing ever-outwards – and upwards – yet on the brink of divorce from the neighbouring continent. The next generation of designers must deliver fresh thinking to tackle issues that range from the scale of the street to global climate change. We asked pioneering graduates from the LSA how they’d adapt London to ensure that it is inclusive of its citizens, integrated with nature and fit for the future.

Tackling the shortage of suitable premises in London, this project aims to make space for manufacturing and production in the heart of the city, cutting the demands on transportation and making the city more economically and socially resilient.

With rapid changes in manufacturing that enable much smaller, cleaner and quieter processes, a new generation of enterprise is combining design, workshop, product development and customer service spaces. They need space to serve as lab, studio, factory floor and shopfront. Ideally, they want to be in central London, where they can attract the specialised staff they need.

Within the Old Kent Road redevelopment plan, this project is a model for building flexible premises on sites that are less desirable for other uses – particularly long, narrow sites alongside railway tracks and in close proximity to industrial areas. With an eye to future functional changes, the architecture focuses on universal criteria: comfort, atmosphere, light and structure.