London is… the theme for the 2019 London exhibition at the Seoul Biennale has been curated by Peter Bishop and Creative Director Isabel Allen. As a city London is constantly adapting, which is why it has remained one of the major capitals in the world. The exhibition considers the key strengths and attributes that London will need to develop to remain a paradigm of 21st Century urban living.
dRMM is delighted to have been invited to contribute to the exhibition, alongside nine emerging and established architectural firms. Each studio has been asked to consider a different aspect of London and what the city needed to do to remain a leading global capital over the next 30 years, ours is ‘a city to live in’.
With the city’s population constantly increasing and a heritage of dense, sprawling low-rise villages, making space for people is becoming more and more challenging. Our concept is inspired by ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ and imagines London as a healthy, prosperous and live-able London which creates a sense of ownership, belonging and togetherness for everyone.
We believe that the way we design, plan and build in London needs to change, so we created a set of rules that formed the basis for our speculative drawing:
- Housing is infrastructure
- Everyone has a space to cultivate & grow things
- Streets are for people – with secondary roads optimised for AI cars, emergency vehicles and logistics transport
- All buildings are flexible and predictive
- Urban spaces should encourage activity and sport
- Districts, neighbourhoods and buildings are truly ‘mixed-use’, creating local communities and nurturing small-scale economies.
- The river is re-imagined as place to live and work
- Industrial land is reimagined, intensified, opened-up, and celebrated.
- Cyclists are safe everywhere they go.
- Everyone has a place to play & to gather, through connected green spaces.
Will Howard, the Associate leading the project said ‘we’ve loved working on the London exhibition with Peter, Isabel and the team. We believe that design can transform people’s lives and for London to remain a leading global capital we need a new set of design rules to guide developments and create spaces that put people’s quality of life at there heart. Hopefully we can all work together to create this for London’s future.’
Other participating practices include Weston Williamson + Partners – London is…a polycentric city; Foster + Partners – London is…a city to converse in; PiM Studio- London is…a city to be a child in; Studio Egret West – London is…a city to grow in; 8FOLD – London is…a smart city; 5th Studio – London is…a city to work in; Assemblage – London is…a city to get lost in; IF_DO – London is…a city to connect in and Hildrey Studio – London is…a city to be heard in.
The exhibition which opens on the 6th September 2019 and runs until 10th November 2019 will also showcase visions for a future London by students from the Bartlett School of Architecture.
Peter Bishop said ’The Seoul biennale is establishing itself as one of the principal forums of debate about the future of cities not just in Asia but globally and I am excited to have been given the opportunity to curate London’s contribution to this debate. It will be an opportunity to showcase the wealth of ideas and architectural talent from both students and new and established practices. The theme ‘London is…’ will pose propositions concerning what the successful city will look like by the middle of the century. Although based on new ideas for London, we hope that our exhibition will strike a resonance with other cities across the world.’