Housing, Projects, Public Realm, Residential

Lonsdale Mews

Lonsdale mews is an 8 unit newbuild scheme in Croydon on tight a backland site. The 1 to 3 bed development sensitively negotiates the site constraints to provide front and back gardens for each unit. The patterned brick picks up on the local vernacular and responds to local brick fields that once existed nearby.

Community, Cultural, Masterplanning, Projects, Public Realm

Loughborough Junction Affordable workshops

The proposal for Loughborough Junction Affordable workshops aimed to create a mixed-use affordable workspace for local makers in the thriving centre of Loughborough Junction. The existing site though designated as a Key Industrial and Business area had remained derelict for many years. In the meantime, a local community group had brought the site back into productivity as an urban farm.
The workspaces were to be of a variety of scales, ranging from small desk based coworking spaces to two larger anchor units that housed a CNC Mill and a series of kitchens for use by local businesses. The challenge was to develop a strategy that integrated the existing Loughborough Farm within a thriving works space community.
To keep within the tight budget we proposed a series of low-cost modular units and furniture that could be manufactured on site within the CNC mill. We designed the modular system to be simple enough to be built by lay people and proposed a methodology whereby the units could be built by potential users in exchange for rent rebates over the course of their tenancy.
Variant Office in collaboration with Erect Architecture were placed 2nd in this competition.

Art, Projects, Public Realm

‘-scape’ prototype I

Location : Athens, Greece
Client : Self Realised
Area : N/A
Status: Complete

We have been collaborating with the awesome artist and friend of Variant Office, Rachael Champion to design a piece of furniture for an exhibition curated by Marcelle Joseph Projects  that will tour between Fokidos21, Athens and Horatio Jr. London, beginning October 6th 2014.

The exhibition is inspired by French Pholosopher Henri Lefebvre’s forgotten manuscript entitled ‘Towards an architecture of enjoyment’ written in 18973 and published in May 2014, where Lefebvre redefines architecture as a mode of imagination and calls for an architecture of jouissance—of pleasure or enjoyment—centered on the body and its rhythms and based on the possibilities of the senses.

The prototype -scape developed for Fokidos21 picks up on the themes prevalent in Champion’s work exploring the relationship between industry, technology and nature.   The layflat hose when arranged in series, re appropriates itself to form a surface for inhabitation and infill.  This material acts as both a membrane and container for plant life within the piece.  We see each show as an opportunity to reimagine the potential of the material and format of -scape.

The piece is currently being exhibited in Athens and sits within Rachael Champion’s work ‘context for -scape’

Projects, Public Realm

Evelyn Court Play Area

Architecture Design : Ashvin de Vos with Erect Architecture
Project Architect : Ashvin de Vos
Location : Hackney, London
Client : Daniel Fitzpatrick with The Learning Trust, London Borough of Hackney
Area : 750 sqm
Completed : July 2010
Budget : £56,000
Photographer : James Whitaker

The Evelyn Court play area is an extension to an existing early-years playground located in a high density housing estate in Hackney. The only available green space within the estate was situated on a raised level adjacent to the existing playground and was fenced off and inaccessible to the community. The objective was to make the green space accessible and usable, establish a connection between the levels in a playful manner and create an entrance of a different kind into the estate.

The design is comprised of a series of geometrical mounds of different character. The mounds are either solid earth forms, timber structures or climbing nets. They offer interesting spaces on top, underneath and in-between for both play and socialising. These in-between spaces facilitate different rhythms and speeds of activities. They are as valued by the children as the more traditional pieces of play equipment, providing incentive to imaginatively explore, inhabit and take ownership of the playground.

It was key to create a playground for children of different ages to play together. We were keen to integrate seating and social areas for older children and adults overseeing their children, to make the site accessible and usable for all. We kept the existing under 5s area and redefined the edges towards the older area to be more open and usable as seating for parents.


Projects, Public Realm

Geffrye Pocket Park

The Geffrye Estate Community centre in Hoxton approached us to come up with some ideas for how an empty pocket of concreted land to the south of the estate could be better utilised. They wanted a social, exciting and playful space that would encourage child-play whilst discouraging antisocial behaviour.

The design played on the idea of seating and climbing structures; built using blocks which are too narrow or uncomfortable for an adult foot, the structure would be seen as the domain of younger children who would be able to climb, sit and play on the structure, which with its sculptural form, would itself attract the community to enjoy the new space.

Location : Hoxton
Client : Geffrye Estate Community Centre
Area : 20 sqm