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Camden Market Council

Part 2 Project 2006
Dean Pike
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), UK
Camden Market Council is a micro-government for the self-regulating market in Camden Town.

Four administrative chambers enclose a market hall used as a political stage for councillors and marketers. During the week the building operates as an urban platform for trading, and an open public stage at evenings and weekends.

Using the language and structure of the existing market, a camouflaged environment of leather draperies is created where the politics of market trade and Camden interweave.

Beneath tough outer casings of leather, are a world of soft frills and folds, as layer upon layer is tailored into walls and spaces.

Dean Pike

Students were asked to design a building that had an uncanny property while remaining a recognisable social and tectonic reality.

Dean takes the theme of ‘the pocket’ and elaborates it physically and spatially. His analysis of Westminster showed a world of lobbies, tea-rooms and spaces within spaces creating an interior labyrinth for intrigue and negotiation. This is a witty antidote to the banal correlation between democracy and transparency.

He allows materials, like leather, to drive the architectural invention. He works obsessively with one material, generating a range of specifically architectural references to help structure the project. His use of the Loos Raumplan, Gandy’s drawings for Soane, Christo’s wrapping, the Baroque Hotel and La Scala are appropriate and surprising. They demonstrate a mind deeply absorbed in architectural culture.

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