I have decided on a draft project proposal for my site. It consists of three components defined by the existing three spaces: No.2 Elder street, No.161 Commercial Street and the Alleyway in between the two.
The driving concept of the scheme is to re-activate the spaces.
The previous uses of the spaces would directly relate to their newly proposed uses.
No.2 Elder Street
The building will be kept as is (as long as it structurally sound) and serve as a fusion of a sculpture and an historical record of the buildings in the East end that are slowly being lost in the regeneration of Shoreditch. It will serve as a record of the everyday from a time past that will slowly degrade over time. This is simply what it has been doing in recent years anyway.
Rachel Whiteread, House sketches
Gordon Matta Clark, Splitting
The Alleyway will be re-opened and made publicly accessible as its original design intended. It will serve as access to the rear of No2 and will have its own building programme also. This is yet to be decided but will incorporate a way of viewing and accessing No.2 from the outside, and also serve as a public usable space with a new link to No.161.
No.161 Commercial Street
The new use of No.161 also comes from its previous incarnations - originally as a shop and recently as a communal space and 'Free Shop' used by the squatters. It will be a place of exchange and interaction still and be focused on drawing people in from the local community.
One option would be to create a furniture exchange within the space inspired by Shoreditch's former furniture production industry. It would be a place where old things could be donated, restored and exchanged giving them new life. This could also be a place to train locals in furniture restoration to ensure this skill doesn't just diminish like the No.2 building has.
Another option may be to install a 'pop-up' shop within the building. At the present time the building is being kept empty by the owners. Pop up shops require no building rates charges as they are only temporary and create interesting additions to empty buildings. They draw people into an otherwise unused space or area and give it new life.