Shoreditch has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. It’s derelict industrial building stock has been refurbished into loft apartments and offices for tech city, it’s night life has moved from red light to street food, and it’s shops from carpentry to fashion.
The next wave of development will bring a dozen luxury hotels and thousands of guests to do business, shop and relax in Shoreditch. So what should the good businesses and residents of Shoreditch offer their guests? What is Shoreditch hospitality? And how can this influx be used to build Shoreditch’s character without diluting it?
Curtain Road is the spine of the Shoreditch Triangle, it is sheltered from the peripheral traffic and has a wide south facing view to the heart of the city. Yet its pavements are narrow, one way traffic speeds north and buses park up as if it’s a forgotten backwater. So how can we change Curtain Road to reflect Shoreditch’s past and present character and in doing so invite our new hotel guests to join in?
With Milk’s focus on people-centric design, we felt a need to improve / animate the streetscape and bring people back to enjoying the street.
First, we imagine a single lane of traffic to claim back the pavements for people to enjoy, walk down and shop in a street market! The market could spill down the road integrating with current Shoreditch food culture. We propose a place to have lunch, in a secret garden courtyard; a place to shelter; to hang out and we even imagine splashing in a fountain. Curtain road could become a destination in itself.
These small scale interventions in the street consider ingredients such as existing street nodes, sunny spots, and local businesses. We love the addition of green walls, planting and trees to mark the ‘gateway’ into Shoreditch which can provide much needed green spaces in the city.
We enjoyed exploring, imagining and generating ideas for Curtain Road as a practice and presenting them for London Festival of Architecture
We hope these small additions and collaging of architectural ideas can be built on and create a memorable daytime destination!