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Urban Tactics was produced by Killing Architects, a studio for research and design in architecture and urbanism, based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I would like to thank the following people for giving their advice and time for this research: Guri Nadler, Chief Planning Officer, Bat Yam municipality; Ayelet Kessler, Community Liaison Officer, Bat Yam municipality; Kerem Halbrecht and Gilly Karjevsky, co-directors of 72 Hour Urban Action; Peter Bishop, Allies and Morrison; Moira Lascelles, Curator for Special Projects, The Architecture Foundation; Debbie Whitfield, Director, New London Architecture; Sarah Rubinstein, Woods Bagot; Liz Williams, Ash Sakula Architects; Emily Berwyn, Meanwhile Space CIC; Deborah Armstrong, Strong & Co; Dr Karoline Brombach, professor of planning at Hochschule fur Technik, Stuttgart; Lukasz Lendzinski, David Baur and Markus Niessner, chairs of the Kunstverein Wagenhallen, Stuttgart. I would also like to thank Sarah Ichioka of The Architecture Foundation for the advice and contacts she provided at the outset of this study, Sigal Barnir, curator of the Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, Wolfgang Grillitsch of Peanutz Architekten and Hannes Schwertfeger of Baubotanik. This research was made possible thanks to a grant from the Netherlands Architecture Fund. Photography credits: Front cover: Exhibition Road, finished project, Olivia Woodhouse p5, 72 Hour Urban Action; p9, Mor Agadir; p10, Mor Agadir; p11 (clockwise from top left) Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbansm, Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbansm, Kerem Halbrecht, Alison Killing; p12, Mor Agadir; p12 map, 72 Hour Urban Action; p15 The Architecture Foundation; p19 The Architecture Foundation; p 20-21 The Architecture Foundation; p23 Ian Lanchbury Landscape Architect; p24 Agnese Sanvito; p25, Chris Whippet, Ian Lanchbury Landscape Architect, Ian Lanchbury Landscape Architect; p26, Dixon Jones; p27, Olivia Woodhouse; p29, Sheng-fa Lin; p34 Ash Sakula, Laura Billings; p35 Canning Town Caravanserai; p36 Newham Borough Council, London Pleasure Gardens; p37, London Pleasure Gardens; p39, Alison Killing; p43, Alison Killing. Back cover: Exhibition Road intervention at LFA 2008, Dixon Jones
Urban Tactics - temporary interventions and long term planning by Killing Architects is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Introduction Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism London Festival of Architecture Meanwhile London competition, Royal Docks Stuttgart post-21 What works? 4 5 15 29 37 42
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This research looks at four very different case studies of temporary use to try to draw general conclusions about the social, economic and political contexts conducive to these projects’ success. To try to establish a comprehensive view of the process of realising a temporary project, this study was based on a series of interviews with a range of stakeholders in each case study – with representatives from the local municipality, with curators of the festivals and biennales which provided the framework for many of the temporary projects to take place, and with the designers and cultural planners who were actually trying to realise the interventions. The study focuses in particular on the relationship between the temporary projects and longer term planning and (re) development processes. This research deals mainly with temporary interventions in public space (or publicly accessible space) although some of the conclusions could equally apply to the temporary use of vacant buildings. The case studies were: the Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, Israel; the London Festival of Architecture 2008 and 2010 editions, UK; the Meanwhile London competition, UK; and Stuttgart post-21 in Germany. The biggest difference in these projects was in their time scales, which ranged from two to three days, to a number of years. It is in some ways difficult to bring all these projects together under the word ‘temporary’. As one interviewee pointed out, the binary distinction of ‘temporary’ and ‘permanent’ is deeply inadequate to describe the range of projects which happen in a city. ‘Temporary’ is ascribed to projects which vary wildly length, too much so for it to be a truly useful descriptor, and ‘permanent’ developments, usually intended to last for between 25 and 50 years, are not truly permanent. While all of the projects produced enjoyable events and attractive public spaces, time scale was crucial to what else it was possible to do with a project. For this piece of research the most useful distinction is probably between the short, event-like temporary projects, which lasted for only a few days, and those that last longer. Shorter projects allowed experimentation with public spaces, since the stakeholder commitment required for a project of only a few days is relatively low. They also allow important relationships to be built. The longer-term projects were in place long enough for them to become more established in the local area and for communities to begin to grow around them. What they all had in common: strong commitment and support from the local municipality was needed to realise them. The people initiating the project needed to be very tenacious and resourceful in order to finally make them happen. They all used the nature of the event to attract attention – to an area of a city, an issue to be discussed or a project that had been proposed. The interventions for the London Festival of Architecture typically lasted for 3 days to a week, with sites returned to their pre-Festival state after the event. These temporary interventions allowed prototyping and experimentation with existing spaces, to try out ways in which they might be different, but with minimal commitment – the projects were temporary after all. The temporary projects allowed relationships to be built that could support further, perhaps permanent, projects. In Bat Yam, the biennale lasted three days, but in the 2010 edition the interventions that were built as part of the event stayed behind afterwards. The event draws attention to different areas of the city, provides space for experimentation in public space design and showcasing good design. Leaving the interventions behind until their sites can be developed permanently, raises the standard of open space in the city, contributing to a higher quality of life for city residents. The Meanwhile London projects are much longer term – between one and five years, depending on the site in question. They are also relatively large scale, with sites of between 0.5 and 1 ha. These projects are about drawing attention to a relatively neglected part of London, providing new spaces for the local community and attracting new audiences and hopefully new investment. In Stuttgart, the post-21 project is a programme of events which will take place over the course of five years. These events will leave behind interventions on the Wagenhallen site and be used to develop infrastructure which can be used for further events, exhibitions and other cultural activities on the site. For each case study, interview questions focused on how the projects were realised – who was involved in producing them, how they were funded, the process of obtaining permissions to do the project, how replicable the process of realising the project was and links to longer term planning processes. It was funded by a start up grant from the Netherlands Architecture Fund.
Bat Yam Biennale of landscape urbanism
Aerial view of Bat Yam
Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism
The first edition of the Bat Yam Biennale took place in 2008. It was set up from within the municipality, with a leading role played by the deputy mayor, working together with the two curators and the city’s chief planning officer. The aim of the Biennale was to raise the quality of the city’s public space, thereby improving quality of life in the city, improving the city’s image, and providing a laboratory and showcase for innovative public space design. Duration The Biennale itself lasts for three days. In 2008 the public space interventions were removed, but in 2010 many of them remained in place after the event and will stay until a permanent use is found for the site that they currently occupy. Funding The budget for the Biennale came from the municipality, as well as a number of Israeli arts and culture funds, including the Beracha Foundation. Link to long term planning The fact that the city’s planning department were intimately involved in organising the Biennale meant that it was possible to make these links. This meant identifying and prioritising areas of the city that needed attention. The planning department also took on the role of engaging the community, employing staff in community liaison roles to work with local people and organisations and work to involve them in the Biennale. Interviews: Guri Nadler, chief planning officer, Bat Yam municipality; Sigal Barnir, curator of the Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism; Ayelet Kessler, community-planning department liaison; Kerem Halbrecht and Gilly Karjevsky, co-directors of 72 Hour Urban Action.
Bat Yam, Israel: 32°1’23”N, 34°45’1”E
72 Hour Urban Action sites Area of Biennale interventions 2010
Organisational structure - Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism
Guri joined the Bat Yam planning department in December 2006. Before that he was working in New York, where he was running a studio at Columbia University. That studio came to Bat Yam on a study visit in 2006, and it looked at Bat Yam’s qualities. The density of the city and it’s urban feeling are two of its qualities. These things weren’t part of the mayor’s vision before. The idea for the Biennale was forming at that time and the first meetings between the curators and the city were taking place. On joining the planning department, Guri became part of the steering committee and took on the role of connecting the Biennale to the community. The Biennale idea was initially about gardens. Erez, the deputy mayor, and the curators, Sigal Barnir and Yael Moria wanted to introduce a much wider understanding of landscape. The first Biennale was in 2008. As part of the planning there were weekly meetings with Erez, the deputy mayor of the city and essentially its ‘CEO’. He pushed the Biennale idea forward. There was also a need for the city’s planning department to have a specific role in the process. In New York everyone knows a bit about planning. They know what zoning is, for example. People are also more organised and more educated about how to interact with the state. The municipality saw the Biennale as a tool to help people in Bat Yam, especially those who are already a bit organised, to get more actively involved in planning. For the 2008 Biennale, the planning department hired someone whose job it was to work on the Biennale. He mapped groups in Bat Yam and potential sites and if there was a planning project in the pipeline that needed community attention, he would coordinate that. In 2010 Guri was less involved and resources for community engagement were channelled through the Biennale, rather than the city administration. At the same time, some of the projects which were looked at were long term and they went through the planning department. In general though, in 2010 the planning department did not have the power to decide which projects to invest in. Where there are limited resources, doing the Biennale meant that other important projects would be delayed.
Community Liaison Team Ayelet Kessler
Head of planning Guri Nadler
Sigal Bar Nir and Yael Moria
72 Hour Urban Action - Kerem Halbrecht and Gilly Karjevsky
In 2008, the Biennale was about emphasising that Bat Yam was not just the waterfront. Between 2003 and 2008 things had been happening in terms of new developments, but only on the waterfront. In 2009 work started on the strategic plan for the development of the city. It had been losing population for 30 years by this point. The emphasis on Bat Yam is on redevelopment, not new neighbourhoods. The city has no more land available and that’s a problem common to a lot of developed cities. Planning is now about maintenance, since there isn’t much new land or new development. Temporary projects are part of that. There is an open call for projects for each Biennale, but the curators are also active in soliciting projects. They push forward specific sites for interventions and request modifications to the projects that are submitted via the open call.
72 Hour Urban Action competition
Mayors in Israel have the power to use vacant, private land for two uses – parks and car parks. There has to be a sign saying that it is temporary. Often when this is done the ‘park’ is some grass and a couple of trees with a big fence around. In Bat Yam, we tried to invest enough for people to actually use the land. Many interventions were on private land. It gives the owners an incentive to develop it before people get used to the land. In 2008 interventions were removed. In 2010 there was an attempt to make things that would stay. Masterplans take years to approve, while temporary projects can be done in a period of between 6 and 12 months. Temporary in this instance means years, not days. The city has minimal resources, so we make a small investment to have an impact, then add to it. We do low budget, but high quality. High cost, high quality would mean doing far fewer spaces than we currently do. It’s hard to measure the impact of temporary places, beyond just how people use them. The image of Bat Yam is changing – people see the success of what we’ve done and they want to be part of it and to do things. There is a willingness to invest in Bat Yam. People discovered Bat Yam with the Biennale. How easy would it be to replicate the Biennale? The main ideas can be written down. At the same time it is very dependent on the personalities involved. It needs a lot of energy to do the Biennale.
There are currently two people working approximately 20 hours per week on community engagement for the Biennale and two more people will be starting soon. They are employed freelance by the city planning department. They are currently based in the building of a former kindergarten, located in the residential neighbourhood which the Biennale will focus on in 2012. The community liaison job involves working in the community, getting to know lots of people and organisations in the neighbourhood and talking with a lot of the residents. People feel that they can change a lot of things in their own homes and gardens, but struggle to imagine that they are able to change things in the public space of the city, outside of their own homes and pieces of land. The job involves trying to talk more with the community about architecture and planning. The team are currently working with the community on a vision for the neighbourhood. There is a monthly open meeting with the community on different aspects of this, such as cleaning, or public transport. People now call by to say that they have an idea about something that could change. This is only starting to happen little by little .The team run guided tours of different neighbourhoods of the city. There is also a schools programme, where all ages had three lessons dealing with architecture and planning. Community groups are getting involved in the Biennale in a few ways. Local residents are giving tours of the local area to those artists and architects who responded to the Biennale’s open call for projects. The rest of Ayelet’s time is spent developing a model of community engagement which can be integrated with the formal city planning system. Existing community planning tools are being modified to do this. The municipality are coming to understand that they need to talk with the community, but they’re not yet very good at organising this as part of the normal schedule of a project. They don’t always allow enough time for the community consultation aspects to take place. Guri (head of the planning department) and Ayelet are working together with the municipality to try to understand how they work and how these processes can be integrated with better community involvement in planning. There is still resistance within the design professions to doing participatory work with the community. At the moment community consultation is promoted within architecture, landscape and urban design projects in the city by choosing to work with design practices who are open to this sort of approach.
72 Hour Urban Action competition
City mix: Oded Kutok, Ronen Kinori, Uriel Bebchik, Galit Yerushalmy, Dror Kocha, Yoav Lerman, Galia Hanoh-Roe, Barak Pelman, Ofer Lerner
Can pavilion: Lihi EinGedi Davidovitch, Roee Chido, Galit Khavous Fleischer
Side Effect: Amir Lotan
Urban Agriculture Community Centre: Kerem Halbrecht
Introduction - 72 Hour Urban Action
72 Hour Urban Action is a real-time architecture competition. It has an extreme deadline, a tight budget, and limited space to respond to, and resolve, local community needs. Teams are given three days and three nights to plan and realise projects in response to assigned missions. The aim is to transform the public realm and to raise ambitions amongst residents and the municipality for higher quality public space, while demonstrating that this need not be costly, nor take a very long time. The competition took place in September 2010 as part of the Bat Yam Biennale of Landscape Urbanism. 10 teams transformed 10 sites on a run down street where much of the public space was of negligible quality. The briefs variously emphasised the need for a sheltered sitting place, the potential for a better entrance to the local neighbourhood and a need for a new use for an empty, rubbish-strewn plot. Following positive feedback building permits were applied for retrospectively, so that some of the interventions could remain in place.
72 Hour Urban Action competition
Map of Ort Israel Street with 72 HUA competition sites and uses of buildings
Kerem Halbrecht and Gilly Karjevsky
The Biennale was crucial in making the first 72 Hour Urban Action competition possible. It was already established, it had an innovative approach and the Biennale team had already built the necessary relationships within the city. It would have been more difficult to instigate something without that structure. In Stuttgart and New York, [where 72 HUA competitions will take place in summer 2012], we attempt to plug into other existing structures. In New York there is the strategic programme for Dutch Quays, an urban design project, so we’re building on an existing urban plan. Bat Yam was important because it allowed us to do the first 72 HUA competition. Now that we have a track record, it’s much easier to go on to do other things. Choosing the location for the 72 HUA competition The Biennale focuses on different parts of the city and in 2010 they chose to work in the industrial zone. Ort Israel St [the street where the 72 HUA competition took place] is the boundary between that area and a residential area. How did the Biennale came about? Yael Moria, one of the curators, is a landscape architect and her office is the biggest landscape office in Israel. They were working on plans for Bat Yam anyway and so even before the start of the Biennale, some of the relationships between the municipality and the curators were in place. Bat Yam and the Biennale now help to define agendas for each other. The process is dependent on the specific personalities involved, but there’s a lot of trust between parties. There was a long period of dialogue between the curators and the municipality before the Biennale was established. The preparations for the 72 HUA competition A lot was done via the curators. Engaging the community is both difficult and risky. The ‘community’ that you end up engaging with aren’t necessarily representative of the local community. A bigger problem is that with an experimental project like 72 HUA there are a lot of unknowns. There is then a big risk of losing the community’s trust in the course of an innovative, experimental project because you don’t know what the designers are going to do, which is actually the point of the competition. You can’t therefore know that they will do what the community want them to. Another problem with consultation is that it’s very difficult to find out what people want – community consultation can function as a sort of echo-chamber, where people are only able to ask for things that they’re already aware of, such as more lighting, better cleaning, more trees. Of course, these things might be appropriate things to do in a neighbourhood, the problem is that generally people have very little awareness of the other sorts of things that might be possible. How much structure did you need to give for the temporary projects? The missions were close together, along one street, to create a lot of activity. The municipality imposed certain rules, about not going on the road and not digging below 30cm because of infrastructure under the ground. The project was also carried out under an events licence, rather than the usual process of building permits. The small budget and short time frame serves to limit the scale of the projects as well. The participants that you choose and the skills that they have will also affect what will come out. The project was about expanding residents’ urban vocabulary. They got to see a lot of very different approaches to architecture and public space. It’s also about giving designers the space to experiment. They were able to decide themselves where their projects sat on the spectrum between temporary and permanent. After the competition, the projects are tested against reality. Structures may need more reinforcement, water and electricity may need to be added to projects and the municipality need to do that. They need to adopt the projects and take on their maintenance, so it’s crucial that they’re involved from the beginning. Community engagement Probably the best way to get local community involvement would be to have local builders and designers as participants in the competition. In Queens, New York, there was an existing community engagement project that we could work with. For the competitions to run you also need to work with the neighbours because you need to access electricity and water. The community engagement also works on a very local scale – you’re not trying to run a church-hall meeting for people in the local area, you’re working just outside someone’s front door and that means that you’re almost certainly going to be having conversations with them. What came out of the competition? In the long term, it’s looking at a new way of planning cities. It has a research output. A lot of the results are soft, intangible ones. Measurable impact is an outdated way of assessing outcomes. Too much of what comes out of this sort of cultural project isn’t measurable. The event nature of the competition disrupts the normal working process of the municipality and contests the normal way of working in the planning system. Challenging those ways of working are more important than what is actually built. The main criteria for allowing this sort of project to happen are a strong local production team, local government who are willing and open minded enough to try to work in this way and a larger framework to work within.
London Festival of Architecture: 2008 and 2010 editions
Oikos theatre: Köbberling and Kaltwasser
London Festival of Architecture
The London Festival of Architecture was established in 2004, originally under the name the London Architecture Biennale. It has three target audiences – the general public, architects and designers and political decision makers in the city. The two most recent editions of the Festival, in 2008 and 2010, are looked at here. Duration The Festival typically runs for around a month and encompasses a large number of events, talks, exhibitions and tours of the city, as well as interventions in the built environment. The duration of these projects varies: from one weekend in the case of the Exhibition Road and Montague Place projects; to one week in the case of the Store Street Crescent pocket park; to the Union Street Urban Orchard, which ran for four months in the summer of 2010. The difference in the time spans of these projects was a function of the different types of space these projects inhabited, as well as their content and aims. The Exhibition Road project temporarily closed a major city road to try to give people a sense of what the public space would be like after the implementation of the proposed design for the road. The Store Street Crescent pocket park appropriated an area currently used as a car park for a week. This area was less heavily trafficked and therefore perhaps easier to use in this way, although the project displaced important (and lucrative) parking spaces in the area and this issue had to be overcome. The Urban Orchard took over a plot of privately owned land, not previously accessible to the public. It did not displace an existing use and it was available for longer, this last point being essential for the content of the project, to allow the plants to grow and become semi-established. Organisation In 2008, the festival was organised by a core team of 6, supported by a wider committee. It ran for four weeks, five weekends, with a different part of the city forming the focus of each weekend. Each of these parts of the city, or ‘hubs’, had a budget for one major commission. The Exhibition Road project was one, Montague Place another. Each hub had a curator who selected and coordinated other relevant projects. The projects themselves were produced by individual companies, groups or individuals. In 2010, the production of the festival was done by three organisations: New London Architecture (NLA), the Architecture Foundation and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) London branch. They each curated projects within a particular area of the city. They provided funding to the festival in terms of staff time to organise and produce the event. Funding for projects was done on a case by case basis.
London, UK: 51°30’0”N, 0°7’0”W
Barnet Haringey Waltham Forest Redbridge
Barking and Dagenham
Ealing Hammersmith and
City of Westminster Kensington and Chelsea
City of London
Funding In 2008 the festival received £800,000 cash funding, with £2.5 million of total support. Core funding came from Design for London (DfL), Arts Council England and the London Development Agency (LDA). There were also further cash sponsors. This large amount of money allowed a huge number of events that took place over the festival.
Union Street Urban Orchard
Organisational structure - London Festival of Architecture 2008
In 2010 the event was deliberately scaled down. £230,000 was raised in cash sponsorship. Funding in kind came from the organising institutions and core funding came from Arts Council England, Land Securities and the LDA. The large audience numbers for the LFA mean that it is possible to attract sponsorship, because it is possible to give something back to sponsors. The LFA is quite opportunistic about the sorts of projects that it takes on, so there is no strong link to longer term planning processes. In some cases it allows ideas for more permanent projects to be tried out temporarily because of the relatively low commitment necessary for a temporary project on the part of (for example) a municipality. This can help to build support for more permanent change. The LFA allows relationships to be built and strengthened, which can help with the process of doing a permanent project later. Keeping the benefits created for the local community often requires continuity funding which is not there and so these gains are lost. Links to long term planning In 2008, the LFA hosted public consultations for public space projects, allowing the municipalities and designers involved to reach a wider group of people than they otherwise might. These consultations fits well with the LFA’s goal of engaging people on issues to do with the built environment, but it requires key points in a design project to coincide with festival dates. Interviews Moira Lascelles, Curator for Special Projects, Architecture Foundation; Debbie Whitfield, Director, New London Architecture; Sarah Rubinstein, Architect for Exhibition Road project; Peter Bishop, Allies and Morrison, (formerly deputy chief executive of the London Development Agency.
London Festival of Architecture 2008
Clerkenwell and the City of London Hub
King’s Cross, Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia, Covent Garden Hub
Canary Wharf, Stratford and Greenwich Peninsula Hub
Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge Hub
Southwark and South Bank Hub
Design for London (DfL) was set up by Ken Livingstone. It had an open brief, the idea was to have time to think about London and how it could be a better place. It had no statutory power. It’s budget was £2-3 million. It was perceived as being very powerful, however. The question was how to deploy these tiny amounts of money to wield influence beyond the organisation’s size. The Architects’ Journal described DfL as the urban guerillas of the architecture profession.
Camden Borough Council
University College London
Carmody Groake Architects Dixon Jones Architects Sarah Rubinstein British Museum Museums
Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council
One major project looked at new public spaces. At the time Peter Murray, who was head of New London Architecture (NLA) was setting up the London Festival of Architecture (LFA). The NLA had a natural affinity with DfL. The beauty of the LFA was the chance to prototype and generate debate. If you want to change an area there’s a need to raise its profile and get debate happening. It gives the chance to experiment with different parts of the city. In 2008 we did a project looking at the area at the back of the British Museum. Temporary uses of the area were introduced – there were lots of concerts. We worked with local councils and their various departments – the highways department were needed to close roads, for example. It gave the chance to do the difficult work of politics, to build contacts and relationships to then be able to do further projects. It was very opportunistic. There was no structured approach. It was a playful thing, not part of a city strategy.
School of Oriental and African Studies
Union Street Urban Orchard
In 2008 the LFA mushroomed – extending over four weeks and with some 500 events concentrated in five ‘hubs’ around the city. Sarah Ichioka, who is now Director of The Architecture Foundation in London, was the LFA’s Assistant Director in 2008. Moira worked as a Festival Coordinator working on activities across the Festival. Each of the five hubs were given funding for one major commission, with the Southwark lido by EXYZT being one. In 2010 Moira acted as Consultant Curator for the LFA, managing amongst other strands, The Architecture Foundation’s programme for the London Bankside area. This area was the subject of a masterplan called the ‘Bankside Urban Forest’ which had been developed by the architecture and urbanism practice Witherford Watson Mann. The Architecture Foundation’s LFA programme sought to contribute to and take inspiration from the Bankside Urban Forest masterplan and raise awareness of what it was looking to achieve. Design for London partnered with The Architecture Foundation for the High Street 2012 and Bankside hubs in 2010. They offered material on the masterplans that they were working on. They were also really helpful in providing contacts with landowners where required. They have good knowledge of local communities. The LFA can serve as a catalyst for longer-term change. The trees from the Union Street Urban Orchard went to the local community; they were transplanted to existing gardens and estates nearby. Street furniture from the 2008 LFA was given to new housing areas, schools, etc. The Festival also provided networking opportunities and the chance to form new professional relationships for the architects and planners involved. EXYZT [an architecture collective from France] worked on the Southward Lido for the LFA 2008, which gave them UK exposure that they hadn’t had before. The festival gains an international audience. It can showcase best practice from around the world, so that the UK can learn from good international case studies. In 2012 the British Council are managing exhibitions and installations put on by embassies and cultural institutions across London. The student festival (which won’t be happening in 2012, but did take place in 2008 and 2010) was organised together with London Met [London Metropolitan University]. It offers students a platform to show their ideas and work. Finding sites and locations can be challenging. These sites take time to identify - you need to have a good network of contacts to find appropriate sites. To find core funding for the LFA to operate is increasingly difficult and for this reason there was a move in 2010 to structure the delivery of the Festival through core partners (The Architecture Foundation, New London Architecture, RIBA London and the British Council). For the six months leading up to the LFA 2010 a full coordinator was brought in. Sources of funding vary. In 2008 it was a mixture of corporate funding, sponsorship and core funding which came from the Arts Council and Land Securities. In 2010 the three delivery partner organisations provided the core budget, mostly through the provision of staff time and that model will
probably continue. In 2010 money for projects was raised on a project by project basis. There was a pot of money awarded by the Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts which supported three major commissions. RIBA London created a hydraulic lift at Waterloo Steps in Regent’s Park, The Architecture Foundation created the Oikos project – a temporary theatre created in collaboration with theatre production company, the Red Room. The LFA 2010 took place in three London boroughs: Southwark, Kensington and Chelsea and Newham. They were able to provide advice. For the Oikos project in Southwark the council waived the planning fees and events licences. They also owned the land that the theatre was built on and rented it at a reduced rate. The Union Street Urban Orchard was built on a private site, where the council has no liability and were able to advise on planning guidelines. In terms of building permits, there is no standard protocol for arts projects. You still have to go through the normal planning process – the system doesn’t have the flexibility to deal with arts projects. Local community involvement With the Orchard there was a Bankside Residents’ Forum who have a community liaison officer. The Architecture Foundation also worked with the local business improvement district, Better Bankside, which part funded the Orchard. They were already working on the wider Bankside Urban Forest
Union Street Urban Orchard
masterplan, organising the community consultation process. The residents’ forum helped to identify residents who might be affected by the Urban Orchard project, but also acted as champions for the project, helping to promote it locally and providing residents with a clear point of contact. The audience for the festival The LFA naturally speaks to the professions of the built environment. It also tries to reach the general public. The guide for the LFA was produced in association with the listings magazine Time Out to try to expand the audience. Charette style events were organised to consult on the vision for a specific area. These brought together small teams of architects for ideas competitions. Links to ongoing planning/urban design projects Key points in the schedules of these projects [such as the launch of a public consultation] can coincide with LFA dates. The temporary aspect of the LFA projects can work well. The Exhibition Road project at LFA 2008 showcased the idea of turning that road into a shared space [the street was closed to cars for the day] which allowed visitors to give feedback on the project based on actual experience. Measuring the impact of the festival Feedback forms are filled in by visitors. The LFA organisers have to report to the Arts Council on the outcome. There was a visitors’ book at the Union Street Urban Orchard. Audience numbers can be measured for certain events. Reflection amongst staff.
Could these projects have happened without the festival? Probably not. The Festival gives a platform for sponsors, via the guide which is produced by Time Out and therefore has a large circulation and via the website, which gets a lot of traffic. This level of publicity means that we can give sponsors something back. The Festival also gives a deadline for realising the project – it gives it an urgency and momentum which means that it is far less likely to get abandoned half way. The Festival also brings experience in producing projects and events and people who have the time to organise things.
OIKOS theatre project: Köbberling and Kaltwasser
Union Street Urban Orchard
Organisational structure - London Festival of Architecture 2008
LFA 2008 At the LFA in 2008 Debbie curated one of the hubs. Montague Place was the centre for that hub. The road is treated as the back door to the British Museum and it is used as a coach park. There might be up to 8 buses standing there at any one time, often with their engines running. It was a good time to look at that area. The British Museum were looking at building an extension and demolishing some of the old buildings to the north west of their site. Camden [Borough Council] was working on a plan for redeveloping the public realm in Bloomsbury and a masterplan by the architect Terry Farrell was being developed for the area.
London Festival of Architecture 2010
New London Architecture Debbie Whitfield Local businesses
Architecture Foundation Moira Lascelles
The idea was to highlight the potential of the street as a valuable link in the city and a quality public space. Key stakeholders were involved: the British Museum; as well as the two large universities in the area, University College London (UCL) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). The LFA worked with Carmody Groake Architects to temporarily transform the street in order to raise its profile and change people’s view of the space. Camden council used the event to launch the public consultation for their public realm improvements. They got an overwhelming level of support. Through the LFA they were able to reach a wider audience. They won a lot of local approval for their proposals and didn’t get any objections when they were submitted for planning permission. The LFA had a range of private sector sponsorship. A lot of people gave their time for free to help in realising the project. The structure was also built very cheaply, with the structure made from scaffolding. The walkway was built under a temporary building licence. The road also needed to be closed completely for the LFA event, but the closure was limited as far as possible, by keeping one lane of the road open while the structure was being built and dismantled.
Design for London
Bankside Urban Orchard
Store St Crescent Bloomsbury Festival
Business improvement org.
Camden Borough Council
Southwark Borough Council
LFA 2010 The crescent on Store Street [in front of the building housing the NLA] is a nice space, but it’s currently used as a car park. It could be used as an exhibition space, for a cafe, it could have public seating. At the LFA in 2010 the crescent was transformed for a week. We were lucky to have really good weather. Price and Myers, an engineering firm, built a pavilion. The project allowed discussions about the crescent to be opened up with Camden borough council, with the owners of buildings and local businesses. The aim is just to remove the parking and allow the crescent to be used for temporary uses. That process is currently halfway along. The next phase would involve more investment in the public realm. The first step in getting the parking removed was to complete a parking survey for the area to see whether parking requirements for the area could still be accommodated if the Store Street crescent parking was removed. It can and Camden is now happy to remove that parking. It should be complete in time for the Olympics [in
Newham Borough Council
Montague Place, Sky Walk - Carmody Groake Architects, Ian Lanchbury Landscape Architect
London in July 2012]. The impact of the festival was measured through visitor numbers, through observation of the way the space was used, through feedback forms, visitors asked for the intervention to be made permanent, bookable events were well attended. Lots of Store Street shops were boarded up for refurbishment so the street had quite a sad feel. An exhibition was set up on the hoardings describing the history of the street and future plans for it. The Bloomsbury Festival recently took place for the first time since the LFA project and the crescent was closed for that event too. The budget for the intervention was £10,000 maximum, although that possibly includes the budget for the LFA launch party. Like with Montague Place, most things were done for free, with materials donated and professionals giving their time for free. [How important was the festival for realising temporary projects?] The LFA works well as a focal point to bring together multiple stakeholders. It can act as a catalyst to do these sorts of projects. It can be a good focus for energy. Lots of people also want to be part of the festival. Often they want the chance to showcase their own work. The LFA needs people to give their time for free to make the projects possible. It would be harder to get support from organisations without the festival as a backdrop. The LFA has a track record to show people. Lots of the obstacles to these sorts of projects happening are to do with lack of imagination and the inability to see a place in a different way. You have to be able to find a flexible way through regulations. When you do, it arms you to take things further. In 2010 we’d done it before. To close a street you have to cover the loss of revenue from parking, which is a potentially huge amount of money. Finally, the council were able to waive the cost. In Camden in 2008 Peter Bishop had been working in Camden and he was very supportive. Bob West, who was head of public realm in Camden and then interim head of planning, was instrumental in helping the Montague Place project be realised. He had a can-do attitude, imagination and the power to act on these things. Once you have the support of someone at the top, those below them become open to new ideas and enthusiastic. There needs to be a flexible approach to permissions on both sides. There also need to be strong relationships. Local authorities are divided into departments – that’s the reason that you need high level support. They are massive organisations servicing large populations. You also need the support of other local stakeholders, organisations with a long term stake in an area. In central London locations the potential audience is vast, but there is also a strong residents community. Store Street Crescent pocket park One legacy of the Store Street project is the way that the Bloomsbury Festival has gone on to work with local people and the planning process. There is a community feel to the street now.
Montague Place, Sky Walk - Carmody Groake Architects, Ian Lanchbury Landscape Architect
Store Street Crescent, existing
Montague Place, Sky Walk - Carmody Groake Architects, Ian Lanchbury Landscape Architect
Exhibition Road is a major public realm project which has been developed over the past seven and a half years. It was at a fairly advanced stage, going for planning permission, at the point where the LFA were looking for sites. They picked it to be part of the 2008 LFA because it was a major project and because there are so many important institutions there. The temporary installation for the LFA was to paint the road overnight, to show the new design for the street and the road was closed to traffic for the weekend. The idea of the installation was to demonstrate to the institutions along Exhibition Road the idea of a single surface. In the final design granite paving and unusual lighting columns would be used to create a sense of place. In 2008 the project needed to gain support from the public. At the LFA event pavilions were built on the shared space. It was a good day – the LFA created a fun event with lots of activity. This sort of event needs really good event and programme management if it is to succeed. Permissions to close the road and to create the temporary installation were done by the LFA. The client for the project was Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council and they were also responsible for giving the necessary permissions, so there weren’t too many obstacles. They wanted to promote the project. These sorts of temporary projects can be really good for helping to change people’s perspective of a place. In the public realm, if you can get rid of parking and traffic briefly people can easily begin to imagine how it might be – it can allow people to experience the positive aspects of a place. Traffic has a massive impact on the public realm. Traffic management schemes, such as one way systems and different traffic light priority systems, are very complicated, but can be tried out and monitored, provided the changes are modelled in advance.
Exhibition Road project at the LFA, 2008
Exhibition Road project at the LFA, 2008
Exhibition Road, finished project
The Meanwhile London competition was launched in late 2010. It asked for proposals, together with rough business plans, for three sites in the Royal Docks area of East London. The competition was part of a strategy to attract attention and investment to Newham, a poor part of London, which nevertheless had significant attractions in terms of location, transport links and the fact that the majority of undeveloped land was in public ownership. Four winners were picked for the three sites: Industrio[us]’ upcycling plant at the Royal Business Park; the London Pleasure Gardens at Pontoon Dock; Studio Egret West’s Royal Docks Baths, also at Pontoon Dock; and the Canning Town Caravanserai at Canning Town, proposed by a team led by Ash Sakula Architects. Duration Depending on the site, the temporary lease would be for a period of between one and five years. Funding Newham Borough Council offered the winning teams the use of the land free of charge, although with the proviso that there should be a profit-share scheme in the case of more commercial ventures. When it was found that the council was not legally able to participate in this sort of profit sharing arrangement, the site in question – the Pontoon Dock – was let out at commercial rates. All of the proposals were required to have solid business plans in place to fund the investment necessary to making a project happen. Unfortunately, these business plans were not robust or flexible enough to cope with the onerous demands and uncertainty of an experimental temporary project. A hotel was initially intended to fund the Canning Town Caravanserai, but the building that would have housed it was demolished before the hand over of the site. Delays in signing the lease at Pontoon Dock meant that the London Pleasure Garden’s initial investors dropped out. Projects were finally funded through a mix of self-funding, commercial loans and community grants. A huge amount of unpaid work was put in by the project designers/organisers to get their projects to the point of having enough investment. Links to long term planning There is no direct relationship between the temporary projects and what will happen on the sites after the leases expire. The temporary projects are mainly about changing the perception of the area and helping to attract investment, both by generating publicity and proving the viability of the sites in question. The selected projects and the teams doing them show a clear commitment to the local community – engaging with people and organisations in the area. Maintaining these benefits after the projects have finished will almost certainly require re-provision of space for community activities and small amounts of investment to support them further. Interviews Peter Bishop, Aliies and Morrison/Urban Practitioners (formerly deputy chief executive of the London Development Agency); Liz Williams, Ash Sakula Architects; Deborah Armstrong, Strong & Co; Emily Berwyn, Meanwhile Space CIC.
London, UK: 51°30’0”N, 0°7’0”W
Barnet Haringey Waltham Forest Redbridge
Barking and Dagenham
Ealing Hammersmith and
City of Westminster Kensington and Chelsea
City of London
Greenwich Bexley Lewisham
Canning Town Caravanserai
Industrio[us] upcycling plant
London Pleasure Gardens
Organisational structure - Meanwhile London competition
DfL became involved in the Royal Docks two and a half years ago. It’s an unusual area – it has an airport, an international convention centre (the Excel), the O2 arena, which is the biggest music venue in the world, it’s mainly public land, the land is decontaminated, there is the water front, good public transport with more improvement on the way, but at the same time, there was no development interest.
Design for London
Why weren’t people trying to buy this land? There had been 73 masterplans for this area since the late 1970s and there was no clear narrative about what the Royal Docks was – most of the recent masterplans saw it as ‘mixed-use’, too vague a definition. We got rid of the 73 masterplans. Clive Dutton at Newham council worked with us to develop a strategy for the Royal Docks. It needed a unique story. We saw it as being a support and logistics centre for Canary Wharf. The area should be built around the airport, conference centres and should become an area where global firms might establish a second headquarters. Boris Johnson and the head of Newham council then signed the strategy publicly, so that there was also the political alliance necessary to make it happen. There was then a presentation of the big London Development Agency (LDA) sites at MIPIM, to let people know that we were putting those sites on the market. With LDA land and Newham’s planning powers there was a lot of power to allow the projects to move along quickly. Planning department Local communities department The Meanwhile London project, putting temporary uses on some of those pieces of land, was about raising their profile. It was about branding and marketing, not planning. The London Pleasure Gardens will be run by a group who are involved in organising the Glastonbury Festival and that could significantly improve footfall on their site. We worked with Property Week [a magazine aimed at developers] so that developers would see it. There were 47 expressions of interest in the Meanwhile competition, and 12 projects were shortlisted. To help support these projects the local council could possibly have waived the planning fee. The local authority also has the power to put money into projects as venture capital.
Newham Borough Council
Head of Council Clive Dutton
Meanwhile London Competition
Project Local community
Canning Town Caravanserai Liz Williams
London Pleasure Gardens - Deb Armstrong
What are the drivers pushing towards sequential planning instead of hardwired masterplanning? The permanent city is really only an idea of the 20th century. The interest in temporary projects is driven by a number of things: it’s a response to the economic downturn; there is an entire generation who will never have a conventional career; a lot of boundaries between professions, such as architecture and graphic design, are being broken down; the increase in home working and mobile technology leads to a different use of space; there is the ability to enter the market with very low capital outlay, which can be seen in the temporary restaurant and cinema projects the Gingerline restaurant and the Cineroleum. These pop-up interventions are seen as exciting because there is cache in the exclusivity of the experience, rather than pure consumption.
Integrating the short term into longer term planning is difficult, because the planning system in the UK is biased towards the permanent. The definition of a permanent structure is one that lasts beyond 28 days. There are also some worries, although the experience is very rare in the UK, that temporary use will turn into squatting – that people won’t leave at the end of the allotted time period. This has happened in both the Netherlands and Germany. There is the potential for temporary use to end in conflict.
timetabling, funding these longer term projects, effectively communicating the offer to winners and finding the balance between ambition and deliverability. The people who embark on these sorts of projects are often very ambitious and the projects themselves are complex. People often underestimate the effort needed to make them happen. Funding any kind of innovation is difficult. Where interim uses take place on an empty site, they can draw attention to the area and act as a marketing tool for the developer or landowner ahead of development. These sorts of temporary uses can also be used to start to build community in a location even before anything else is built. At Coin St, in London, a nursery was established in a portacabin and then moved into the new building on completion, with a full register of children. This sort of solution can be particularly helpful when there has been a community consultation on facilities which people would like to see introduced in an area because they usually don’t want to wait for it to happen. The Westfield site in central Bradford had become an eyesore since construction works stopped due to the recession. Pressure by local people, in the form of an ‘art attack’ [which added cartoons and poetry to the hoardings around the site] led by [a coalition of local artists called] Spartacus, brought Westfield and Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council to the table. They agreed to withdraw the hoardings to a core site, releasing 4 acres of land to be converted in the interim into the Bradford Urban Garden, and committed £100k to make the site safe. They have since been joined as partners in the project by [the Regional Development Agency] Yorkshire Forward. The Meanwhile Project grant of £25k to Fabric, the umbrella arts organisation for the project, was used to transform the garden for use by arts and community groups. The public now has access to the land and it has improved the permeability of the town centre. Conflict between temporary and permanent uses Landlords and local authorities can sometimes be concerned that temporary users might refuse to leave once the landlord needs the property back. We do not know of any meanwhile occupation where this has happened, so it is extremely rare, and usually occurs where initial occupancy has not been legal. Any disagreements can usually be prevented through clear and transparent communication by all parties that the lease on the property or the land is temporary and where this is reflected in the agreement. Meanwhile Space tries to build good relationships with the landlords of properties, so that they know if someone is interested in renting one of them, often helping promote the space for commercial rent and therefore have plenty of notice of needing to leave.
Meanwhile use aims to put land or property which is temporarily available to good use for the full interim period until it is required for commercial use again. In this way it is different to a pop-up project or festival. This use is usually on a rent-free basis, but with the temporary tenants covering costs such as insurance, business rates and utilities. Convincing landlords (and finding them) used to be a major barrier to meanwhile use, but since 2010 the major incentive for landlords [in the UK] to allow their property to be used in this way is their obligation to pay full business rates on empty property. Meanwhile occupants also provide security and may go on to rent the property on a commercial basis. There are a number of other obstacles to interim use and bureaucratic issues such as business rates and planning uses can hinder things at times, as can complexity and opacity over the rules. We aim to ‘work with the willing’ to make things happen quickly. What sort of spaces? Meanwhile Space is a Community Interest Company working to make the concept of interim use more mainstream. We do this by supporting people to access space that is less exclusive and directly delivering space animation projects. Primarily we work on high streets and in vacant commercial space, but increasingly Meanwhile Space is involved with creating opportunities on empty sites within masterplans. Current projects in Wembley and Croydon are examples of this. Meanwhile Space was set up in 2009 and our first contract was the Communities and Local Government Meanwhile Project, delivered together with the Development Trust Association (now Locality). The Meanwhile Project developed standard leases, guides and toolkits to facilitate interim uses and supported meanwhile activity through small grants to 24 projects in 17 places around England. This also allowed us to learn with them and identify any problems with the concept. For the Meanwhile London competition, the London Borough of Newham applied for support from the Meanwhile Project and this was used by the winning projects to facilitate community collaboration and involvement. There are a number of vacant sites within Newham and as with all things that are highly ambitious and innovative, the Meanwhile London competition has encountered a number of difficulties. The Meanwhile Project wanted to learn alongside the competition, and also wanted to bring local groups in and so the grant went to the winners to help with community engagement. The winners are now mostly in occupation; there have been some delays and issues have arisen around
The ‘Canning Town Caravanserai’ was the winning entry for the Canning Town site of the competition, which was made up of two adjacent plots of land. Ash Sakula’s winning proposal foresaw the larger site taken over by a large number of micro-enterprises, while the smaller site would house a cafe and crazy golf course. There is also a small amount of housing in a shipping container structure on the site, intended to ensure that the site is occupied and secure. Planning permission was applied for and granted for this proposal. Now, however, only the smaller, southern site is available. The proposal has been redesigned, with the mini-enterprises moved onto the small site. A planning application was resubmitted. The project will open in April 2012. Ash Sakula’s description, ‘The Canning Town Caravanserai is a welcoming oasis hosted by locals, open to all visitors. For two years it will explore and prototype new local employment opportunities, cultivating vital cultural and economic legacies for Newham. It is a living manifesto for a new generation of public spaces, integrating forums and facilities, workshops and workspaces, all collaboratively produced by hosts and guests, with artists and architects, thinkers and makers, businesses and communities. It centres on a vibrant, adaptable, open courtyard, surrounded on all sides by busy shops and bustling production spaces where innovative and sustainable business ventures are invented or re-imagined.’ The initial competition was won by a loose coalition of small organisations: Ash Sakula Architects,
EXYZT, Space Makers, Community Links, The Kindest Group, Technology Will Save Us , Wayward Plant Registry, Atmos, Davd Barrie Associates. This group was unable to fund the planning application fee for their proposed design (some £2000) and the project is now being done by Ash Sakula alone. A number of different funding sources have been explored: Advertising has been explored as a funding option and seems viable because the site is so prominent. The site has an 80m hoarding which could be used. Advertising companies which were approached suggested mounting a 6x3m advertising board at both the north and south ends of the site. This would provide an income of £1,500 per year for five years. Grants from a variety of bodies have been considered and in some cases applied for. Recently a grant of £4,000 was received from Newham council, for community engagement. A grant has also been applied for from the Social Action Fund, which supports community and voluntary projects. This has a minimum grant of £100,000. Much of the work so far undertaken for the project has been funded by Ash Sakula themselves. This has included planning fees, to obtain permission to build and funding the time of one member of staff to work on the project for three days per week. Students from the University of East London architecture department constructed a small theatre space on the site, using reclaimed construction materials. It may be possible to involve the
Canning Town Caravanserai - Ash Sakula Architects
Theatre space on Caravanserai site - University of East London
university in further aspects of the project and to fund certain aspects through research or teaching budgets, although this would obviously come with obligations to meet research and teaching criteria. A company which supplies plastic roofing material has donated the plastic roof covering for the site entrance pavilions and the micro enterprises that will be accommodated on the site. The structure for the roof must be funded separately. The council has agreed to waive planning fees for the re-submission of the planning application. This is based partly on the fact that the initial proposal received permission for the site and the resubmitted proposal will be largely based on this. A business plan was developed as part of the original proposal to ensure that the several of the activities taking place on the site would be able to generate income, to make the project selfsustaining. The initial proposal involved keeping one of the residential blocks for use as a hotel, but it was demolished before the hand over of the site. It would also have been controversial to keep and reuse these buildings, since the existing residents were evicted in order for them to be demolished. The current business plan is based around events on site. Activities and events held on site would also generate some income through ticket sales and a licensed bar. There is a cafe at the entrance to the southern site. A mobile catering unit has been purchased to allow events to take place immediately.
Efforts have been made to engage with the local community and to work with institutions and organisations located nearby. University of East London architecture department and students built a small theatre structure. Local schools and community organisations have been involved in workshops on the site Newham borough council have a liaison officer for the Meanwhile projects, whose main role has been in putting the architects in direct contact with other local council officials, such as the planning director, and with relevant local community organisations. She has also been able to advise on potential sources of funding. However, the time that she is able to devote to supporting the project is extremely limited. The architects are attempting to design the structures to be demountable and easily moved to another site when the 5 year lease is up.
Pop-up Tuesday meeting at the Caravanserai
We’re a grass roots arts organisation. We can effect change and work with the community – something we’ve become really good at. The Pleasure Gardens could potentially bring a lot to the area – vitality, activity, audiences, a project with individuality, warmth and character. There’s a good business plan for the project, but it’s difficult for this sort of organisation to offer the securities required [to get investment] when we have only short term leases. The London Pleasure Gardens project started out with investors. It’s a commercial product and so should be able to get investment. The lease isn’t really long enough to allow this though and there are multiple break clauses. It took a long time to get the lease. The council had originally wanted to work with a profit-share agreement [this was in the original competition brief], but that wasn’t available to them legally. Instead, the site is now being let to the Pleasure Gardens at a commercial rate. When the lease for the land was delayed, the investors dropped out and we spent almost a year dealing with other interested parties. It looked like the project was not going to happen. Finally, Newham Council agreed to lend us the money on commercial terms – they will get the money back plus interest, plus a share of the Pleasure Gardens’ profits. Ideally a percentage of the profits from the project would go to fund further meanwhile activities in the area.
Pontoon Dock - site for London Pleasure Gardens
Meanwhile London - follow up
The Meanwhile London project was at a difficult stage in its genesis when these interviews were done - funding was still uncertain, the final permissions hadn’t been granted and the compromises necessary to get the projects off the ground were still being made. The difficult process that these projects were going through at the end of 2011/start of 2012 was probably similar to that of the other projects in this study. At the time of the interviews, the other projects had the benefit of being finished, with the successful projects to show for the efforts of the people who had worked so hard to pull them together. Both the Meanwhile London projects featured have come together. The Caravanserai opened in the last weekend of March with an ‘April Fools’ Weekend’. The London Pleasure Gardens opens 30th June 2012, with a programme of music, DJs, circus acts, film screenings, live art, community engagement projects and family activities.
London Pleasure Gardens - image from competition entry
Inside the Wagenhallen, Stuttgart
Stuttgart - Wagenhallen
The Wagenhallen site in Stuttgart is a former rail yard in the centre of the city. While the railway sidings have long since been removed, the hangar for the trains - the Wagenhallen – remain on site and are occupied by a mix of cultural and entertainment programmes. One part is occupied by a bar and music venue, the rest is mostly cheap studio space for the Kunstverein Wagenhallen, a sixtystrong artists’ association. The entire site is owned by the local municipality. Although there was a masterplan for the site, this appears to have been put on hold, as a result of enormous public resistance to a masterplan called Stuttgart 21 which deals with the area around the nearby central railway station. The Wagenhallen site has now been leased to a company representing the Kunstverein Wagenhallen, the event space and the junkyard which is also on the site, for a period of five years. The Kunstverein Wagenhallen has initiated a programme of workshops and temporary projects to publicise the value of cultural uses in Stuttgart generally and on that site in particular, build links to the local community and create an ‘urban laboratory’ for experimental approaches to planning and public space. This process is named ‘post-21’ in reference to the troubled railway station masterplan. Duration The post-21 programme will run for the five years of the Wagenhallen’s lease. Within that, the timespan of individual projects and events will vary – from installations lasting a few days, to short events which will leave behind interventions for the longer term. Funding The local municipality recently donated E150,000 to the Wagenhallen: E100,000 for the repair of the roof of the train sheds; E50,000 to improve the infrastructure on the site – adding a field kitchen, more toilets/bathrooms and small studios and sleeping accommodation, so that events can take place. Further funding is being sought from German and European cultural funds. Link to longer term planning There is no formal link and the 5 year duration of the site’s lease limits the potential for longer term plans. At the same time, the programme of events and temporary interventions is intended to raise awareness of the Kunstverein Wagenhallen and what it has to offer the city and to build strong relationships with the local community and other cultural institutions in the city. The idea is that this may allow the Kunstverein Wagenhallen to continue to exist in its current form, beyond that five year period. Interviews Lukasz Lendzinski, chair of the Kunstverein Wagenhallen, Dr Karoline Brombach, professor of planning at Fach Hochschule Stuttgart.
Stuttgart, Germany: 48°46’0”N, 9°11’0”E
Organisational structure - Wagenhallen, Stuttgart
There is a growing interest in public space. People are acting in it in an informal, guerilla sense, through activities like guerilla gardening or urban knitting. These activities imply a dissatisfaction with current public spaces and top down planning needs to engage with this emotion. Planners often say that they want people to move back to the city centre, but for that to happen, they need to strengthen the use of public space. More people means more pressure to use these spaces and the need to focus on making inaccessible spaces accessible. Junk yard Event space Temporary projects can provide real image gains for an area. For land owners, temporary uses can help with the image of a site, as well as its neighbourhood and they can help to prove a site’s viability for development. If a site or property is occupied, it will also be better maintained, with less vandalism and less fly-tipping. For planners, these activities can help to cater for groups who are often quite neglected in terms of being provided with space, such as teenagers. Opening up sites for activities like skating and BMX gives young people somewhere to go and provides a more controlled environment for this group. Planning is starting to be seen as a process which works across a number of different timescales. Temporary interventions can be an accompanying measure to a longer term redevelopment.
Kunstverein Wagenhallen Lukasz Lendzinski
Stuttgart University Wagenhallen site Stuttgart Technical School Karoline Brombach
One of the temporary projects that Lukasz [Lendzinski] did emphasised the process of the project, as a way of dealing with the fact that the project would have to end. The landowner had been afraid that people wouldn’t leave the site when the project officially ended and so this project was also about reassuring the owner that they would. In the course of the project a network of citizens and stakeholders was developed. That network can now be activated for further projects. Communities can also get built around these projects. There needs to be a way to deal with the loss of a community facility when the temporary project ends though.
Stuttgart City Council
Public activity (events licencing) department Building regulations department
Land ownership department
In terms of the Wagenhallen, Stuttgart has a brain drain (mainly to Berlin) because there is not enough (affordable) room for independent artists and culture beyond the mainstream. Artists have perhaps always been itinerant – moving on to the next cheap, available space as they need to. But in Stuttgart, the citywide rent and real estate market can be considered overheated because of the fact that developable land is scarce within the city’s borders and many financially strong companies are based here. (Non-established) cultural uses can’t compete, whatever the true land value may be . It’s the opposite problem to East Germany, where there is a large amount of vacant space which needs to be managed. There are funding bodies for regenerating deprived neighbourhoods (such as national and state programmes). There are essentially two funding streams – one for hard infrastructure (construction measures) and on for the soft, supporting structure [such as a youth worker to help run the skate park]. The soft, supporting structure is currently under debate and always in danger of losing funding.
The effort of executing a temporary project is also huge. Permissions and licences are often out of proportion to the actual project. In many cases, you have to have public liability insurance, which is expensive. It’s also a massive amount of work, which is almost entirely unpaid. When Lukasz [Lendzinski] did his first project, he invested in it because he was keen to build up the reputation of his new office, but the effort required to realise this sort of project limits the number of them. Still I believe that these projects are often more “sustainable” and beneficial for the neighbourhood than established planning approaches – and they are much more fun!
Former rail workers’ houses on the Wagenhallen site
Outdoor area of event space and music venue
Open space in front of the Wagenhallen with recently built installations
Urban tactics conclusions: what works and why?
Despite the growing popularity of temporary projects there are, as yet, no established models for carrying them out. Although some patterns can be seen in the way that these projects are organised, the fact that they don’t have a formal place within the wider planning system, means that they need to be negotiated on a case by case basis. Temporary projects are usually much more complex to execute than is generally assumed due to: the idiosyncratic demands of different sites; the lack of provision for temporary projects in the process of building permits (and the flexible, consensusseeking approach involving many stakeholders that therefore needs to be taken to obtaining permissions); and the experimental nature of many of these projects. Even where these projects are done on a shoestring, raising the necessary funds can be challenging and the cost of doing such a project are often underestimated. Much rests on the talents, energy and tenacity of the people initiating these projects. This piece of research deals mainly with temporary interventions in public space (or publicly accessible space), although some of the conclusions could equally apply to the temporary use of vacant buildings. The role of the municipality The local municipality was key in all of the projects studied, not only because it is they who grant permission for these projects to take place, but also in the local contacts and advice that they are able to provide. It is likely that to do a temporary project, permission or help will need to be sought from a number of departments in the municipality, for example: planning and building control for permission to build temporary structures; highways for permission to temporarily close roads or block off parking spaces; infrastructure for access to water and electricity; events licensing for permission to sell food and drink or hold a concert, to name just a few. While permission to hold a concert may follow the normal application process, it is likely that the permissions related to building, highways and infrastructure will not. Where the process of obtaining permission is not standard, it requires negotiation, a flexible approach by both sides and a significant amount of trust. These relationships take time to build. In all the case studies, there was someone senior in the municipality who supported the temporary project, which gave less senior people the permission to negotiate and try to find a way to realise the project. Staff at the municipality can play a valuable role in putting people in touch with other local community groups and people who may be able to assist, as well as with knowledge of potential sources of funding.
How municipalities could support temporary projects further: Particularly where the temporary projects are part of a strategy initiated by the local municipality, the presence of someone whose job it was to liaise with the temporary project initiators, introduce them to relevant people within the municipality and also to help coordinate (or at least oversee) the municipality’s response to the temporary projects, so that different departments don’t work against each other. Investigating where it may be appropriate to waive fees, to allow temporary projects to take place. Examples include application fees for building and events licences, or a reduced rent where the municipality owns the land that the temporary project should take place on. Funding Most of the temporary projects studied were done on a shoestring. Structures and installations were built very cheaply, from low cost materials, materials that were reclaimed, or that were donated in kind. Sponsorship tended to come in the form of goods donated in kind, rather than as cash, although there often was a small amount of cash sponsorship or grants. Sponsorship in kind included the use of the site or building to do the project, building materials, waived fees, or professionals’ time. The people organising the temporary projects often put a huge amount of time into the projects to make them successful and in many cases, this time was unpaid. The relative lack of cash sponsorship makes it difficult to pay people for their time. Funding sources for temporary projects include: Corporate sponsorship. Sponsors will generally want publicity in return for their support. This will be easier with a project or event with a high profile. Advertising, such as having hoardings on site. Donated materials from construction companies People donating their time to help build the project Grants for arts and culture, or community engagement. Direct grants from the local municipality, to help fund public space improvement, work with the local community, or help maintain a significant local facility, or in terms of fees waived. Self-funding by the project initiators – to pay for the time spent working on the project, perhaps contributing to fees necessary for the development of the project.
Once the project is running, it may be possible to charge for tickets for entry, or to sell food or drinks to raise money to keep it going. Permissions Planning systems are overwhelmingly biased towards ‘permanent’ developments, which in the UK at least, is defined as beyond 28 days. This creates difficulty for temporary projects which last for a few months – the amount of regulation is often out of proportion to the size of the project. A good relationship with the local authorities can help to find a way to ensure that the project will meet all the necessary safety and other requirements, without necessarily going through the standard process of building permissions. The main goal of the relevant permissions is ensuring that a project meets the required legal standards and there may be other ways of proving that a project does this, other than through a standard building permit. An example of this is the 72 Hour Urban Action competition, which went out under an events licence, rather than the standard building permit, with building permission applied for retrospectively for the projects that stayed. It should be emphasised that the project did meet the required safety and other legal standards and that strong relationships were needed with the municipality in order to find an appropriate, non-standard way of doing this. Support from a larger organisation – such as a festival or biennale Working under the auspices of an established organisation or event, such as a festival or biennale, or with a brokering partner such as an organisation matching vacant spaces to needs, can provide invaluable support for realising a temporary project: An event, such as a biennale can help attract sponsorship for a project, because it is possible to offer sponsors significant publicity in return. Since strong relationships with the local municipality are key to realising a temporary project, it can be useful to work with established organisations and events have a track record of delivering these sorts of projects and who are therefore able to inspire the necessary confidence in municipalities and potential partners. They are likely to have the necessary local contacts to help realise a project.
Benefits of temporary projects For the designers/architects/urbanists/artists doing them It offers a platform for designers to show their ideas and work. It can provide networking opportunities and the chance to form new professional relationships It can offer the chance to prototype and experiment with the way that different parts of the city are designed and get feedback on ideas from a wide range of people. Temporary projects can allow you to do the difficult work of politics – to build the contacts and relationships necessary to do further (perhaps permanent) projects. Particularly in areas lacking other cheap space, temporary use can provide ‘incubator spaces’ for young, not-yet-established people working in the creative sector – for the teenage band to play their first gig, young artists to have their first exhibition of work. A temporary project can provide a ‘quick win’ in the long term process of an urban development – where an urban redevelopment project can take years, the time necessary for a temporary project can be counted in months. These projects can help to demonstrate that something really is happening and starting to change the view of a site, or area. For land/building owners They can raise the profile of an area, or of a particular site to help attract further investment. Temporary uses can help to change people’s perspective of a place, helping them imagine how it might be different. Where empty property is taxed, using the space for a temporary project until a permanent tenant can be found, may give exemption from this tax. For municipalities/government bodies
An established organisation can be a valuable source of knowledge and expertise for producing temporary projects. A larger event can provide a deadline for completing the temporary project. The complexity of organising a temporary project can mean that the completion date keeps getting pushed back. Working within a larger event helps to prevent this.
Events can draw attention to areas of a city which are undergoing change and raise awareness of issues related to architecture and urbanism there. They can help to educate people about planning and about how to get more involved in it. Events can help with effective community consultations. They can help reach a wide audience and attract attention for the launch of a consultation, so that it is possible to start a discussion about design proposals. Consultations need to coincide with the dates of an event, however.
For local people Temporary projects can add to the existing provision of public spaces and community facilities in an area. Where building projects have been put on hold and sites remain unused and closed off by hoardings, temporary projects can help by giving the public access to land, opening up a greater number of routes through an area and improve its permeability. When there is a strong community engagement aspect to a temporary project, it can have a big effect on the way that people view their local area, helping them to imagine that they are able to change things in the public space of the city, beyond their own homes. Temporary projects can help people imagine what an area will be like if a proposed project were to go ahead. Experimentation and prototyping in public space can help expand people’s design vocabulary, so that they become aware of a greater range of things that it is possible to do to improve public space – to go beyond requests for more cleaning and better street lighting (although these things may be relevant as well). Long term effects The long term effects of temporary projects tend to be relatively intangible, but can nonetheless be very significant. They can help improve the image and attractiveness of an area, but also to build relationships between the people involved. Since temporary projects rely heavily on building strong relationships in order to realise a project, one of the most significant outcomes can be a professional network, which may then be re-activated for further projects. Temporary projects can allow discussions to be started with a range of stakeholders in a situation that requires a much lower level of commitment than a permanent project. These projects can also become important spaces for the local community and can serve as a focal point for community activities. Ideally, there would be a plan to re-provide community spaces when the temporary project ends and funding for continuing activities, so that the benefits of these projects can be maintained.
Challenges of temporary projects and the need for further research Temporary projects require a huge amount of energy and time to make them happen and this investment is often significantly underestimated. In certain instances, there may be a case for seed funding to help temporary projects get off the ground. This would seem to be particularly appropriate in cases where the project is on a larger scale and over a longer period (and therefore more expensive to implement) and where the programme is a non-commercial or community use, which would therefore struggle to raise investment in other ways. Research is needed to identify potential funding sources which go beyond arts and culture/community grants and to investigate new business models. There are many valid reasons for instigating a temporary project, which may include a simple desire to do a fun project, to make something and to experiment and where people are happy to do these things in their free time. As temporary use becomes a more common part of professional architectural and urban planning practice, it is likely to be necessary to develop new business models to support it. Again, further research is needed. For longer term temporary projects, leases need to be long enough and secure enough to allow the investment (of time and/or money) necessary for a particular project. The most appropriate lease will vary from project to project and from site to site. Many building and site owners continue to have reservations about allowing their property to be used for temporary use, although this is likely to dissipate as temporary use becomes more widespread. Concerns include the possibility that temporary users will not vacate a property when asked to do so, as well as a feeling that it is simply less hassle to leave a building or site empty. These concerns can be addressed in a number of ways: standard contracts and leases exist for temporary use, which protect the legal rights of both owners and tenants a good relationship and regular communication between owners and tenants with the growing number of positive precedents for temporary use. Well documented case studies of temporary uses would be very valuable for this and are another recommendation for further research.
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