What Happens Now?
In London’s financial district, What Happens Now? imagines a mixed-use city block that supports the city in a post-pandemic life, and beyond. With an inability to predict the next global-shift, and what proceeds thereafter, the way cities are designed must be revisited.
The proposal includes three elements: a public plane, a spine, and tower.
- The public plane exists at street level, providing open space and circulation throughout the block. Here public programs and recreational activities are hosted and made accessible to all.
- The spine is a linear masonry structure that fronts the main road, also aligning with Guildhall Library. It hosts programs that remain indefinitely; these include essential services at the lower level, their supporting industry counterparts above, and regenerative water and energy sources on the roof.
- The tower is made of a CLT frame and a central core. The levels are available for adaptation by either residential and/or office space, so as lifestyles continue to fluctuate, the structure can withstand the relocation and shuffling of program.
Collectively these elements provide a sense of inclusion in community, security in basic human needs, and resilience in the future. With the ability to reapply these principles across other blocks of London, the question, “what happens now?” becomes a lesser issue.