Stephen Yiavasis: Liquid Futures


A research institute for sustainable clothing manufacture

Crossness Sewage Treatment Works, Bexley, London

To take an existing underground reservoir in East London and, through precise removals and additions, create space for the research, design and manufacture of sustainable clothing.

To promote and reinforce the aim of the fashion industry (responsible for eight per cent of global carbon emissions) to move towards a more circular economy.

The new architecture acts as a set of components that rest against, frame and structurally reinforce the reservoir’s existing Victorian brick construction. Its modular configuration applied to the reservoir’s gridded layout facilitates a radically adaptable floor plan necessary for the required programmes of teaching, studio space, exhibitions and productions.

The proposal supports the research of sustainable textile technology, while making a publicly welcoming space that engages wider society to challenge our consumer behaviour and become more considerate of fast-fashion’s impact on the planet and people.