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Up Down Camden Town

Part 1 Project 2023
Sofia Barinova
Architectural Association London | UK
Camden is the heart of London's punk culture and home to a famous street market, where the norm is to break norms. There, traders showcase inventiveness with their DIY shop adaptations, a testament to the indomitable spirit of competition and cooperation.

Inspired by Camden's creativity, this project embraces its makeshift structures using readily available materials. Recognising the risk of over-romanticising Camden's past, myths and intricate stakeholder dynamics, the project doesn't aim to resolve existing issues. Instead, it introduces an evolving market infrastructure, demanding ongoing negotiations among traders and residents.

The design began with a study of Camden's routines and trader DIY structures. A 1:1 prototype of overhanging timber beams with adjustable planks was constructed in the studio space. This served as both a storage and display ceiling, altering the daily needs of 14 students and further instigating misuses.

Scaling up the studio prototype, I designed a multifunctional, movable module integrating a truss grid, a pulley system, and butt-hinged panels, which could be built with components found in local construction stores. The modular system spans the whole of Inverness Street through repetition, combination, and localised adaptations.

A semi-permanent testament to Camden's culture, serving the market's lifeblood - its traders and residents.

Sofia Barinova

Tutor(s)
Jon Lopez
Francesco Zuddas
2023
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