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The Exchange

Part 1 Project 2006
Christian Madsen
University of Greenwich | UK
This project started with the idea of organizing spaces and the occupation of these, through the use of sunlight and its movement. The site near Greenwich is surrounded by buildings, relatively hidden, in a backyard with two entrances but it is exposed to the sunlight towards the south. In the surrounding buildings there are three estate agencies and one travel agency. With these conditions and my own experience in mind my programme came about: to design a hotel that serves as a springboard towards a new life for newcomers to London .
The Estate: Exchange Inn is an accumulating appropriation of spaces and once completed, there will be a book, a food, an accommodation, a language and social exchange. The main space is the lounge/cafe/info-market. Accessible to the local community, and reached via an internal street across the site.
In and around the building form and textures allow light to create moments of illumination and cycles of visibility, a metaphor for the occupants, tentatively a part of the community.

Christian Madsen

This year our studio examined the susceptibility of the hotel programme to change, through an examination of recent demographic and lifestyle shifts.

Christian worked well with the ambitions of the studio, and developed a business plan for a hybrid of hotel and estate agency. He chose an interesting urban situation to work with, and explored the formal urban moves that would open the potential social spaces of the site and programme, whilst simultaneously working with light and patterned shadow studies, and building 1:1 prototypes.

Christian’s final scheme is we think an entrepreneurial, sophisticated and mature architectural and urban proposition, extending existing local conditions both formally and programmatically. The Exchange- Inn hotel skillfully plays with the transient and permanent elements of the programme. The exchange of language, books and food, social events, the display of available flats, and the accommodation as well as the accessibility of the hotel for the local community, are enhanced by intricate and focused visual connections and clever spatial morphologies.

And it uses architecture to introduce new social responsibilities to estate agents!

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