Seoul Biennale 2019: A City To Grow In

Studio Egret West is exhibiting in the London Pavilion at the Seoul Biennale 2019, which opens this Saturday, 7th September 2019.

 

We are one of ten architectural practices asked to contribute a proposition to describe what London needs to continue to do for it to remain the leading global city, through and beyond the middle of this century.

 

Our proposal for "A City To Grow In" is an antidote to the tabula rasa attitude of the modern movement and the short life spans of many of our contemporary constructions. Instead, we propose an architecture of continuity, where adaptable and evolving buildings are able to morph and re-invent themselves in parallel with the growth and demands of its citizens.

 

As an example, we have taken a generic carpark as our starting point and imagined how it could adapt over the next 35 years to become a place of work, to play, host events, generate energy, grow plants and improve air quality. Such a building has to consider its ecological footprint, the adaptability of its grid, in-use construction costs and a flexible approach to facades and vertical circulation. This will shape a better-rooted city where continuity prevails over many restarts.

 

Peter Bishop, Professor of Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture is curating the London exhibition, which will run until 10th November. Isabel Allen is Creative Director.

 

Peter Bishop says: “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.”