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I.R.I - Instant Response Initiative

Part 1 Project 2011
Laurence Walter
Oxford Brookes University, UK
The Instant Response Initiative (I.R.I) tackles a number of complex issues within society, offering a new system and emergency service whereby the general public take to the streets in times of crisis. Based on evidence found from prior events such as 9/11, 7/7 bombings and the subsequent enquiries, it is clear cities are extremely fragile and necessitate truly appropriate responses if they are to avoid multi-scaled urban tragedies in the future. This position challenges the architect to negotiate issues of responsibility, politics and memory, space and experience, simultaneously.

The initiative acts as a voluntary organisation established (by the organised collective affected by past city disasters) to run alongside the predominant emergency services. Members are trained to react to specific scenarios, in which disasters can be efficien tly managed by mobilised locals rather than have-a-go heroes. The pilot scheme collabor ates with existing infrastructures in the immediate area of Aldgate East; just off of the City fringe. Centrally associatedwith existing policing zones such as the 'Ring of Steel' the I.R.I presents a local facility at a metropolitan scale using real-time information to inform the general public.

Practically, the building performs as an urban hub, collaborating with emergency service personnel, authorities and unique political instruments such as COBRA and Scotland Yard. By developing the processes of 'armour', the I.R.I stimulates a spatial experience that provokes, assures and directs on both personal and city scales.

Members are first welcomed by a public forum and then go through a floor by floor training
process, where material and spatial techniques are arranged to create a fulcrum of energy within its circulation and meeting spaces, whilst as an urbanism acting as both fortress and servant to the City of London externally.

With the Olympic Games coming to London in 2012, and in a century of extended urban anxiety, this prototype model offers substantial and effective solutions to large scale violence, terror attacks and riots. In exploring construction boundaries, details and structural methodologies that react to the recent RIBA Counter Terrorism Guide and sustainable potentials of modular fabrication and environmental control, a robust architecture emerges on London's skyline.

Laurence Walter

Mr Carsten Jungfer
Mr Colin Priest
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