The Best New Building In London

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This, I love. It’s on Commercial Street, on the southern side of Bishopsgate Goods Yard. An assemblage of totally ordinary elements (billboard, hoarding, fencing) and totally ordinary programmes (newsagent, advertising site, mini cab office). But the realtionship between these elements makes it something amazing. A certain kind of symbiotic relationship which forms – out of all expectation – the kind of elegance you rarely find in big A architecture. One part becomes the structural support for another, something else becomes a revenue stream generated from a perimeter enclosure. Together, they develop highly pragmatic response to a left over piece of urbanism, maximising the potentials of use.

By coincidence, Bishopsgate Goods Yard was the site for a studio we at FAT ran at Yale which looked at the possibilities and potentials of symbiotic programmatic relationships. Sited between Brick Lane, Shoreditch and Broadgate there are multiple urban cultures, populations, and typologies. The students projects looked at how social housing and trading floors or curry houses and culture houses might produce an alternative to the Foster masterplan developed for the area.

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This project by Gabi Ho & Christina Wu combined the typologies of historical Shoreditch with megaplanning of the Broadgate development.

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