Parking mad

Niki May Young
Tuesday 17 Jun 2008

Innovative design competition imagines a city without cars

Entrants to the Greening Bay design competition, introduced by Ramboll Whitbybird, were asked to “imagine if there were no cars in London – what would we do with all the parking spaces?” The resulting designs ranged from the masterful to the mad.

The firm were inspired to create the competition following an exhibit in San Francisco which saw residents in a small block waking up to an urban park where cars where usually parked outside their homes.

The chosen 14 finalists, together with an army of helpers, will now take part in an overnight ambush on a Camden street creating their designs before the sun rises on the 4th July. The event, which takes place as part of the London Festival of Architecture, will create ‘sustainable urban interventions’ designed to remind us ‘just how much space we give up to the car in our city’.

While some chose to integrate the car theme into their small designs, others took an alternative approach creating explicitly separate designs illustrating the capacity for a fresh look on the city’s urban landscape. Think Tyres Tank merges the two approaches to the project in both title and design with a vibrant seating area constructed to mimic unravelling tyres; Draughts Game encourages the public to consider an ironic approach to roadworks as a parking slot is transformed into a draughts game composed of traffic cones; while Urban Tree Park considers the possibility of a functional space using natural materials to create a multi-level park complete with wind turbine and storage area.

All the entries were judged by a panel including Dr Ken Yeang and Kevin Carmody, Director of Young Architect of the Year Award winning practice Carmody Groarke. The judges were asked to mark each design out of ten in three areas - the quality of design, use of sustainable materials and buildability.

Peter Murray, Director of the London Festival of Architecture said, “We all know that the days of the car in the city are numbered. It is very encouraging to see so many imaginative ideas from young designers for using the left over space from the demise of the internal combustion engine.”

The final designs, as listed below, will be available to view at Store Street, London WC1, on Friday 4 July between 7am and 10pm where an overall winner will be chosen.

Su Chanprasong + Darta Viksna
Curtain G Park;
Ramboll Whitbybird Sustainability Team;
Price & Myers;
Team: Modoni, Stables, Groot, Doris, Li; Family Garden; ResoNet
Matt Allan, James Nevin, Scott Lewis, Chris Papanastasiou and Warren Forster
Charlotte Docherty
Baharash Bagherian
Emily Read
Kirsten Jack
Urban Tree House
Claudie Boyer and Sophie Morette
Something and Son

Niki May Young
News Editor

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