Will Bellamy: Sugartown


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.

This proposal transforms the Tate & Lyle sugar factory into a new civic space and mixed-use quarter for London’s young diverse population. The project sets out to address two questions: how should or could we reinvent and repurpose post-industrial space and manufacturing space? And how do we counter the spread of anonymous corporate residential towers that characterise so many London regeneration schemes?

The project builds on Tate & Lyle’s industrial heritage, providing workspace as well as cultural facilities and common spaces. Designed as a new civic quarter, the proposal includes a new public square and riverside path which allows Londoners to gather on the bank of the Thames. A hotel next to London City Airport creates round-the-clock activity on site.

‘Sugartown is the manifestation of a political hypothesis that cybernetics can create a society on equal terms’ says William Bellamy. ‘It represents the possibility of a pluralistic community and a self-organising form of governance at a city scale.’