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Monday, 22 September 2014

Wandle treasures and walks

The Building Exploratory will be popping up at two events connected to the River Wandle this weekend, as part of our work with the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership.


Come along to share your Wandle Treasures with us at Merton Abbey Mills, this Saturday 27th September from 12pm - 5pm!

We will be joined by the rest of the team, with activities for the family, and a free prize raffle. During the evening the community film, Vandalis, will have its first showing. 


Join us for a guided walk and discover over 2000 years of the rich and varied history of the Lower Wandle at Wandsworth. The Building Exploratory is leading a search for the lost treasures of the River Wandle as part of its Living Wandle 'Industrial Heritage Recording' project.

Walkers and project volunteers are all invited.

Timings: Meet 2 pm at Wandsworth Town Station
Contact: Dr Nicole Crockett - 07500 073 049

To book your place on the walk, please email: LivingWandle@wandsworth.gov.uk

To find out more about the Industrial Heritage Recording project please click here.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Pop Up Pop Up opens today, Senior BEEs visit tomorrow!

Tomorrow our Senior BEEs will be catching up with Artist Hilary Powell to see her latest enterprise “Pop Up Pop Up” as part of which Hilary has set up a production line to produce pop-up books charting an imaginative history of the changing area of the Lea Valley.

 “Legend: an A-Z of the Lea Valley “is inspired by the people, places, past and present of this urban territory and made with the collaboration of a team of 'pop-up apprentices' (see above picture).

Do go and visit Sugar House Studios, the home to Pop Up Pop Up this weekend and participate in the immersive theatre of making a pop-up book that itself constructs a fantastic and kinetic narrative of the area it’s made in and about.


Location:  Sugar House Studios, 107 High Street, Stratford, London E15 2QQ
The production line is free to visit and there is no need to book.


*** Flashback ***

Hilary Powell has worked with The Building Exploratory in the past, visiting Hilary's studio in 2011 and Winning Places, a project linked to O.space, a nationwide programme by CABE that  used the excitement around the Olympics to inspire people about architecture and the built environment. Tune in to Hilary's films, to see the Senior BEEs tell tales of their sporting triumphs and challenges, and track their progress as they meet the designers of the 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Durning Library

Since June 2014 we have been working with LB Lambeth and Dow Jones Architects to support an Options Appraisal of Durning Library in Kennington. 

Our job has been to map out local stakeholders and to engage with local estate residents, organisations and library users to establish a wish list of services and activities that could take place within the Library.

We have appointed artist Linda Florence to create a temporary artwork that draws attention to the building and begins a discussion about its future, working closely with the local community. 

We have held our first event, attending Ethelred Estate’s Fun Day on Saturday 6th September. We met local residents and talked about their needs and how the Library could meet them: thanks to all who have taken part. 

There will be more events to follow, so watch this space!

Any thoughts?
To share your views, please email us at mail@buildingexploratory.org.uk with the Subject title: Durning.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Islington History & Architecture Group - activities recap

Our Islington History & Architecture Group has been busy this Summer term
Here is a brief recap of our activities, with some illustrative pictures. Our thanks to all the Built Environment experts who helped make these walks and discussions happen, and to our faithful Islington History & Architecture Group!

CZWG Architects Islington Square
For the first session we met with CZWG Architects for an introduction to their Islington Square project which will see the former Post Office North London sorting office (located just off Upper Street) transformed into housing and commercial space.

Lead architect on the project, Astrid Rehwald also took us on a tour of the old sorting office, exploring the building floor by floor right to the roof top which is to be converted into penthouse apartments.
Seeing the building in its current derelict state was an evocative experience and helped us to visualise how the development will take shape.

Read a blog post about this visit here <http://buildingexploratory.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/czwg-show-islington-history.html> .

Former Hornsey Road Baths
We have also been to see how the Former Hornsey Road Baths have been imaginatively converted into a venue for young people called Platform. Complete with a theatre, performance space, recording studio and a café (which is open to the public so do visit if you are in the area) it made for an inspiring visit for all ages.

Housing Strategy in Islington talk
Islington Council's Hitesh Tailor (Principal Housing Policy Analyst) and David Jump (Commissioning Officer, Islington Council Supporting People Team) gave the group a talk about LB Islington's housing strategy. The presentation generated a great deal of discussion about a wide range of housing issues including affordable homes, new housing developments, the private rented sector, the impact of a transient population the development of a housing strategy for older people in Islington. You can find out more about the Council's plans by clicking here <http://www.islington.gov.uk/services/housing/newbuildimprovinghomes/policiesandstrategies/Pages/default.aspx> .

Islington Council are currently working on a Housing Strategy for older people and would like older Islington residents to fill in a questionnaire to help inform the strategy, if you would like to take part in the survey please contact david.jump@islington.gov.uk

Tour of Canonbury
Billy Hurley-Reading from English Heritage took us on a fantastic tour of Canonbury, beginning at Canonbury Tower Billy’s tour talked us through the history of the area’s development from Tudor times to today.  The tour focused on the fascinating architectural heritage of the area and revealed some of Canonbury’s past residents. Billy’s passion for architecture and conservation is infectious and we all learnt how to spot relieving arches and can now date homes built before 1843 by looking at window details.

Arundel Square
For the final session of the summer term we met in Arundel Square to see how the see how the Building Exploratory involved local people in shaping the public garden. This was also an opportunity to see a housing scheme by Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects (who we visited earlier this year), a development which completed the final side of the Victorian square that had never been built. It was a relaxed end of term session and we enjoyed looking at old photos to see how the square has changed over the years and debated the new housing scheme - the consensus was that it made a positive addition to Arundel Square. We loved how a concrete slab built over the railway line as part of the development doubled the size of the green space to improve a much loved local park.