Proposals for how a new masterplan for Vauxhall could transform the area through community engagement and key physical interventions.
The project developed was for a competition run by the Vauxhall Business Improvement District (BID). The vision outlined was that of networking community. Although a physical realm design brief, we argued that it would be through the strengthening of the role of the community, that the meshing of business, the residents and visitors would create a stronger identity for Vauxhall Riverside. Allowing the north–south linkages of the riverside to become enlivened, not just by people moving through the space, but also inhabiting, owning and transforming their space. The idea of community is not just an abstract concept in Vauxhall: there are residents, people who work and have their businesses, as well as people who come to play – at all times of the day and night. Basically, the old adage “build it and they’ll come” would not work here unless we managed to network into the community, which would be the physical and concrete elements of spaces and their connections as well as the social element of the local communities’ involvement and ownership. In order to achieve the latter effectively the proposal is to set up a Vauxhall Community Opportunity Group (Vauxhall COG) who will add a community interest in the process of commissioning of the public realm proposals, alongside the Vauxhall BID.
Proposals were drawn up in a modular fashion so that they could be used as initial discrete interventions and then spread if and when they are successful and there would be support from local people through their involvement, ownership and use. The final plan is the vision at an ecologically evolved climax stage when edges have been activated, such as along the riverside and Vauxhall walk, the fronts, dead spaces, forgotten spaces have been tapped into creating connections between the active areas and current proposals. The diagrams included seed points and direction points which provided indication where projects would start and then spread from.
The over arching vision is therefore based on the concept of enabling what already exists bubbling beneath the surface to come alive through discrete interventions with innovative design, strong network connections and multiple nodes of attraction. However, the vision is underpinned by the idea that ownership by local people as co-creators, is essential.
Project Team: Ashvin de Vos, Patrick Macdonald, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Kit Gunaratne
Location : Vauxhall
Client : Vauxhall BID
Area : 40,000 sqm