Google+ London Architecture Blog: Week 33 13 Feature #26 Boxpark

Monday, 19 August 2013

Week 33 13 Feature #26 Boxpark


Boxpark Shoreditch
Project Team: Roger Wade (creator), Waugh Thistleton Architects, Hammerson and Ballymore (developers)
Date Completed: 2011
Location:  2-4 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6GY

Boxpark is a pop up retail/ leisure development in Shoreditch, which runs alongside the overground railway line at Shoreditch High Street station. The project was completed in 2011 and will stay open for five years. The project was created by CEO Roger Wade and was designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects in collaboration with the developers Hammerson and Ballymore. 

Box park is situated on a former goods yard in front of Shoreditch High Street station at the junction between Shoreditch High Street (leading to Liverpool Street station), Bethnal Green Road, and Commercial Street/ Great Eastern Road. The development is constructed from 60 old steel shipping containers which are stacked to provide small retail units at ground floor level and bars and restaurants at first floor level. The combination of local and large international retailers ensures the project appeals not only to the local area, renown for young designers and creatives, but to a wider audience from the city and beyond.

The beauty of the design is its simplicity and ease with which it was created. The project could almost appear anywhere in a short space of time, to satisfy the demand for a new style of retail, one which is flexible, accessible and offers something different. Each unit in the Boxpark is able to sign up for one year, or five years, which provides a platform for new retailers starting out who are otherwise unable to afford the large financial commitments associated with larger shopping malls. 

Each steel container unit measures approx 12 x 2.5 x 2.5m and is finished in dark grey, with logo branding and lettering above the main elevation. On the first floor level, wooden flooring has been laid to provide circulation and amenity spaces for the cafes and restaurants. A series of steel structured staircases and balustrades complete the space and provide access at each end of the development. Inside, the Various retail units have been designed by independent architects and designers. Highlights here include the UrbanEars store (featured on Dezeen and designed by 42 Architects) and the GuardianCoffee, designed by local furniture makers Unto this Last.

The original 'Container City' (Buoy Wharf Development, Nicholas Lacey Architects, 2001-03) set the tone for creative reuse of containers, and other projects such as the Village Underground took the idea further and reused old underground carriages to provide artist's studios on top of a disused warehouse, also in Shoreditch.


For more information on the project, please see the Boxpark website - http://www.boxpark.co.uk/







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