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The London Makers Foundation

Part 2 Project 2013
Laura Gaskell
University of Nottingham, UK
The London Makers Foundation, as a thesis project, questions the boundary between the City of London and Islington, whilst also responding to the creative industries in and around the Old Truman Brewery. The boundary area is currently dedicated to the Financial Services. In 2008, the financial industries of the developed world almost disappeared, just like much of Britian’s manufacturing did in the previous generation – a decision that was political and not inevitable.

“Financial Services contribute to GPD only about 1% more than the Creative Industries [in the UK economy], which employs 2 million people and Financial Services only 1 million people, […] yet receives but few column inches.”[i]

Our nation is unreasonably inventive! The London Maker’s Foundation is placed at the edge of the city, encouraging investment in the creative industries as a sustainable future for Britain. This proximity to the city allows financial professionals to work alongside creative’s, giving entrepreneurial and legal advice, to reignite the role of manufacturing in the British economy.

The London Maker’s Foundation engages with the surrounding urban grain of buildings such as 30 Finsbury Square and 2 Finsbury Avenue, but eludes toward the manufacturing history of the area – printing. The building resonates a machined precision, with a façade that follows rules of the golden section, whilst being made from charred timber - a balance between precision and the natural process of oxidisation. The programmatic elements of the building enable an individual to work in the London Makers Foundation with minimal risk, developing a product using its workshop facilities. This method of working encourages ideas sharing and collaboration – an extremely sustainable environment.

The thesis is based on research into the loss of craft in pre-fabrication, moving beyond precedent studies, of the Loblolly House by Kieran Timberlake Architects and systems of Konrad Wachsmann, to a richer view of architecture. A prefabricated KLH panel system has been designed with aluminium joints. This system makes the flexible work-pods able to expand and contract efficiently according to business needs. The variation of panels allows each work-pod to be individually suited – manufacturing bespoke spaces for the manufactures of the bespoke.

[i] Christopher Frayling, Start the Week, Radio 4, Monday 19 November 2012, 04:52. As cited in Stacey, M (2013, p.54) Prototyping Architecture. Riverside Archi

Laura Gaskell

Prof Michael Stacey
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