An exploration into temporary & mobile architecture

Caravanserai a year on

A year on and it was a pleasure to see the caravanserai in canning town in full swing. With the hype of the Olympics over the space and the project can start to take roots and grow slowly without the pressure of the big event looming over it. It still feels fragile but in a strange way this vulnerability seems to be its success. Everyone is feeling their way and exploring what the space can be to them. When we visited on Saturday a car boot style market was in full swing, we had home cooked barley soup lovingly prepared by a /Iranian couple and enjoyed an extensive tour by Cany Ash, honestly speaking about the successes, obstacles and failures of the project.




Eric Reynolds from Urban Space management sent through this article on interim / meanwhile use published in the Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal in 2011.

Abstract – Interim and meanwhile uses become popular and almost fashionable during times of economic stress. There is, or should be, a strong case for doing something rather than nothing. Set-aside may be acceptable in the countryside, but is surely not in the middle of cities. The default position should be to allow any legally or socially acceptable use on vacant space. An interim or transitional use plan should be in place in parallel with the consideration of the complex large scheme. It is suggested that getting on with projects should be enabled by means of a standard set of occupation and use conditions to govern and enable the meanwhile activity. So why not get going and change miserable miles of hoardings for life and economic activity.



Container University

Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Southern Germany is currently engaged in an intense process of exchange between artists, architects, staff and students resulting in CONTAINER UNI, a complex body of work that challenges the boundaries of university teaching, art and architecture.

Zeppelin University along with architects Quartier vier (Leipzig, Germany) along with artists Margit Czenki und Christoph Schäfer (Hamburg, Germany) are in the process of constructing a temporary university – a secondary campus while the permanent buildings are being replaced.

Unfortunately the website for the project only has a small english section. However some of the background and thinking behind ContainerUni is reflected in a Talk (in english) by Christoph Schaefer at MIT in 2009.
The talk can be viewed here.

Urban Tactics – Temporary interventions and long term planning

Alison Killing from Killing Architects just completed this studio on temporary use and long term planning.

The Urban Tactics research project looks at four international case studies of temporary architecture projects and long term planning to find out what works and why.

Downloadable here as a pdf (5MB)

Wick on Wheels

WICK ON WHEELS(WOW) is a roaming production and recycling unit, which will travel across Hackney Wick & Fish Island and the surrounding areas of East London. An open resource which engages with local communities to reuse, recycle, repair and re-make. It will explore and encourage direct, collective on site production using existing local materials, resources and skills. Production will focus on three areas in particular: Narrative products, direct interventions on vacant sites and harvest maps.WOW is a pilot project for a mobile recycling unit, which connects the three ecological principals (recycling, re-use and repair) with local cultural and collective production of artefacts and spaces. The pilot project is part of r-urban, a European partnership project with AAA, Paris ( which aims to establish participatory strategies for urban resilience. ( proposed project is a first phase of a larger and more long term project focusing on Hackney Wick and networking it with three sites in Columbes, France.

Wick on Wheels is coordinated by public worksas part of r-urban

The Re-Union

…a new installation by EXYZT which will be opening in Southwark on the 23rd June 2012!

The reUNION is a new Public House, in the spirit of the 1830 Beer Act in which anyone could apply for a licence and open up their front room to the public, to sell – and even brew – beer from their own home.

The Re-Union is located at 100 Union Street, SE1 0NL – previously home to the Southwark Lido, Urban Orchard and Urban Physic Garden – just minutes from Borough Market and the Tate Modern, and from Southwark, Borough and London Bridge Stations.

Call for proposals for a vacant site in Hackney Wick

The London Legacy Development Corporation is looking for proposals for interim use of the Old Bangla TV site in Hackney Wick. Deadline is looming very soon but maybe there are ideas out there.

See details here

Pop Up People

Dan Thompson from the Empty Shops Network just completed a report on temporary use entitled Pop Up People commissioned by the arts council. Download the Pop Up People Report pdf here (2MB)




Thanks to the Annet and Mariska from Jeanne Works for a behind the scenes introduction to the Freehouse project.