UEL to deliver new creative space for local community
Students have taken the first steps towards building a new café for the people of St John’s in Docklands.
The project, in conjunction with the Newham Council, and a local community group, will develop a social garden space for residents in Albert Road, near City Airport.
During a 'live projects' exercise a postgraduate team built a temporary structure for the screening of a film. This was meant as an icebreaker to begin to think about the requirements for a permanent outdoor structure.
The Council has £20,000 to spend on a building although this is not yet enough to make a fully operable café.
“The idea is to make a structure that can be incrementally upgraded over the coming years as further funding becomes available,” said Roland Karthaus, UEL Director of the Civic Architecture Office.
“The team presented a series of options to the local group and we will submit a planning application for the preferred one,” said Mr Karthaus. “Next year's 'live projects' will then continue the process. If it’s a true community space then it should be responsive to what people need and how they use the space.”
As well as gaining valuable and practical experience about difficult, real-life situations students are learning how architects can enable a process, rather than simply design a product.
“This is a deeper understanding of practice than cannot be easily gained from lectures or by reading the architectural press,” said Mr Karthaus. “It is early days for us and there is a lot of hard work involved in setting something like this up, but we are certain that in the future most teaching will be done in this way.”
The Civic Architecture Office is a new, RIBA-chartered professional architecture practice owned by UEL and based in Knowledge Dock. It is run by key teaching staff and architecture graduates.
Notes to Editors
The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.