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urban swarm: Sustaining London's Appetite

Part 0 Project 2005
University of Cambridge, UK
Architecture is partly responsible for the lack of appreciation and availability of good quality, sustainable food in cities. This politically-engaged scheme offers an alternative to the supermarket take-over. Bringing together production/growing, distribution, dining and education, a holistic experience of food is offered to an area searching for new, sustainable urban typologies. The building emerges from two intersecting landscapes: One industrial/manufactured, the other a natural ground. The scheme illuminates the complex processes that sustain basic human life in cities. It is an antidote to modern, sanitised public space, providing a sensual ground for human interaction.

The project addressed an area east of King George V Dock in London. We investigated the provision of a manufacturing and/or distribution facility as a catalyst to improved local identity and social interaction in the vast windswept topography.  Students proposed their own facility.  Simon evolved a very particular vocabulary, which addresses the concept of organic supplies in the city.  His complex programme brings together small and medium scale producers, consumers, wholesalers and trainee chefs.  The local public is then invited to permeate the whole through a variety of routes and public spaces.  An extremely rigorous and aesthetic solution.

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