JOIN US FOR CHIT CHAT 5. WALTHAMSTOW, WHAT’S NEXT?
Our fourth Chit-Chat evening took place at Pillars brewery, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, on Thursday 11 October 2018. Looking forward to Waltham Forest’s ‘Borough of Culture’ 2019, the evening will be entitled “Building Culture”. We were delighted to welcome Kristin and Helen from Jason Bruges Studio, Jessica & Gareth, (Civic Engineers), Lorna Lee, (LB Waltham Forest Borough of Culture team), Sam Mullins, (London Transport Musuem), Leonie Oliva and Laura Jenkinson, (GVA Planning), Paul, (Yonder), Mat Leung, (Assemble) and Adam Walker, (Crate).
We were delighted to welcome to Mirth, Marvel and Maud:
- Robert Barker (author of Aquatecture)
- Rory Olcayto (director, Open City, and former editor of the Architects Journal)
- Max Dewdney (MDA)
- Pooja Agrawal (GLA)
- William Mann (Withford Watson Mann Architects, architects of the visitor centre at Walthamstow Wetlands)
A bit of chit chat about architecture and Walthamstow: Chit Chat II: FUTURE WALTHAMSTOW
Following on from our first ‘Chit Chat’ event last year, on Thursday 10 November, AE17 hosted a second, at Wildcard Brewery. The evening took place around a series of presentations in the quick firing ‘Pecha Kucha’ format, this time with the theme ‘Future Walthamstow’. We are hugely grateful to the incredible number of people who came, who filled the room with and put up with the thirsty queues out of the door and at the bar.
We welcomed several speakers to approach the topic from different standpoints, each bringing something to the discussion at the end of the evening.
The proceedings were kicked off by Col McCormack, who entertained the room with visions of urban activism in Skopje, Macedonia, where the general population has been actively protesting against top-down imposition of architectural style, followed by tales of cloaking of buildings with classical motifs in Walthamstow.
Rebecca Stephens and Andrew Tam, local residents and architects at the architectural practice, Gort Scott, talked about their work in the area, ranging from community consultation, refurbishment at Central Parade and a development of affordable housing for Pocket Living, which has recently been achieved planning approval.
David Mooney, Development Manager at the London Wildlife Trust, talked about the Trust’s work at Walthamstow Wetlands; to preserve and enhance the natural habitats there, and also provide facilities for visitors. (AE17 eagerly await the opening of they visitor centre next year, a project by Witherford Watson Mann Architects, previous winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize.)
Max Plotnek (Planning Consultant, Maddox Associates) brought to the discussion 20 locations around Walthamstow, both recently developed and awaiting, commenting on them from a planning point of view. Max talked about how government and local authority planning policy affects the environment around us, for example relaxing of use class policies means that community infrastructure like laundrettes are increasingly at risk.
Francesca Heathcote Sapey, post-graduate student and urbanist, has a developing interest in markets, and how communities develop around commerce. Fran talked about how markets have affected Walthamstow and how changing shopping habits might affect our built environment.
AE17 held a workshop to consider the Town Square earlier in the year, presented to the audience tonight by Roland Karthaus (AE17 co-chair and director at Matter Architecture). You may be aware of recent proposals to develop the square and buildings on two sides of it, and it was this restricted brief that was central to our response. Roland talked about how the site can offer exciting opportunities for devlopment, but within a wider consideration of the location and coherent creation of a new public space.
Finishing the evening, Akay Zorlu (formally of Macreanor Lavington Architects, and now Akay Zorlu Architects) talked about recognising what is important in our urban environment, and how it is important that these pre-existing conditions form the basis of new development.
We are extremely grateful for those who took part in the evening, and for members of the public who turned up on a chilly night, and made the evening such a success. We would love to do this again next year – if you have ideas that you would like us to cover, let us know. More about Pecha Kucha can be found at PechaKucha.org.
The AE17 Chit Chat team