Last week saw students of the London School of Architecture present their schemes, developed since January. WP have been helping lead Global Currents think tank ‘Another Density’ with leaders from Grimshaw/IDOM/JesticoWhiles. Students will be exhibiting with the London School of Architecture in the Summer!
“Traditional means to mitigate the exponential growth of density in urban areas seem to not cope with the problem anymore. The urban environment they generate (from public space to skyline, from air quality to lifestyle) is under question as the original layout of big capitals was never thought for the numbers we are seeing today. Traffic congestion, overpopulation, air pollution and overwhelmed public services are becoming a lethal mix which portrait a dystopian future. The impact of high density in social organisation has also proofed to generate segregation proportional to population growth.
The case of London is paradigmatic, as in addition to the above, there are other issues affecting the public’s perception of high-rise architecture. We refer to the impossibility to solve the lack of residential space with just scattered towers, the impact of the new high-rises in the skyline, their collision with the aging infrastructure, safety, or the artificial financial mechanism which generates some of them.
This project will open a debate around city growth while searching for architectural alternatives to the current conflict between overpopulation and wellbeing in world capitals. Using London as a testbed for global ideas, we will explore how other cultures and countries are trying to solve urban issues created by increasing density.
The search for alternatives, however, does not mean the rejection of the tower type or the benefits of living vertical. Our quest is simply to find a more London-appropriate high-density housing vernacular that is embedded into London as a part of the urban realm: rooted, community conscious, affordable and architecturally interesting set of ways to live above ground in an increasingly overpopulated environment.”