Gentrification has been a issue to the riverside of London, especially from area from Greenwich to Battersea. With more and more luxury residential project built along the river, it creates a intangible ‘wall’ that separates people from the river itself, which we know from the history, the Thames is why the Romans settle and how it has contributed to the development of London. Therefore, Battersea: The Riverside Odyssey is an experiment project to remind people the value and function of a Thames, not just the view that raising the price of housing but the actual ‘value’ of the river, how it connects people and built the culture and success to London. Why chose Battersea? It is a critical place to marks the industrialisation era of London which determines the success of London economic development.
The following is the initial thought process on developing the project. The below diagram is created based on the definition of ‘archive’ showing in the above diagram. My thought is to based on the people who used work on the river most in history, the watermen and lightermen. Therefore, in this project, The Company of Watermen and Lightermen, which is a now guild that assist people who now work on the Thames and also offering training for working license on the river and talks in relation to their own history. In the old days, watermen carry passengers whilst lightermen carry goods and cargo to deliver different parts of London. It was a unique job that happens on the river and they were critical before street and bridges are more common and convenient for transportion. I believe it is a relevant character to deliver my project because of its uniqueness and the strong connection to the history, thus to be a ‘bridge’ to re-connects Londoners to the Thames which they used to be. Also, various riverside elements including watermen steps and drawdock (which were the access used by people and loading goods in the old days) will be ‘re-use’ as a gateway to most of the intervention.
Proposing Programmes (Technology proposing study topic also include in typical section) : –
- Market (planting + storage + process + retail)
Before bridges being built to connects the north and south part of London, Thames is used as trading (including transporting goods to different parts of London). Thus, one of the key programmes is to revisit the idea of trading on the river. As to enhance the flow of it, it is proposing to be a local food market by inviting growing local products on the river (using the fertile alluvium soil and the exist tidal plantation area in Battersea Reach) and collaborating with the Ransome Dock Farmers market.
Tech: Investigate the possibilities of the planting on the river keywords: Alluvium, Biometric water treatment
- Education / Museum / Archive + Company office
The Company of Watermen and Lightermen have been assisting people on working on the Thames by offering training and publishing their history to reminds people what the river been important to the city. In relation to this mission, the project is proposing the abandoned foundry is used as the branch office and education centre to offer better service. Meanwhile, part of the building will be a museum that provides spaces for exhibition in relation to the river.
Tech: Material preservation, Structure restoration
- Sport venue + Exhibition structure/ Performance Space / View Platform + Storage
This is a program that will be merged into the previous site or purely interfere with the riverside elements. The key purpose is to serve different events happens on the river regularly (no matter regularly or annually). Sports activity is the main use of the River Thames nowadays. Similar to the old days where people swim in the Thames, alongside with the tideway tunnel (which will tackle the problem of overflows from the capital’s Victorian sewers and will protect the River Thames from increasing pollution for at least the next 100 years), it is a critical point to welcome people to enjoy the river like before. By understanding more of the history of the Thames, realising that the iconic event in the 16th century, Frost Fair, is actually run by the lightermen and watermen at that time as they lost their job when the river froze. In addition, the leisure purpose that people used the river in the 80s, the project is now proposing a playspace with that be able to control water status via technology
Tech: Floating Structure/patoon (Buoyant foundation), Freezing water
- Riverbus / Water taxi
As an addition to the existing river bus, here is proposing that there will be a moving structure to collaborate with the system, and as a maintenance purpose, there will be a pier structure for the company to access via waterways.
Tech: Tidal movement, dock/pier structure