WHITE CITY, UK, LONDON, 2004
|Masterplan for west London|
By OMA © All rights reserved
Located between the city centre and Heathrow Airport, just outside the congestion charge zone, the site forms the most Western of all development locations, the last and currently the missing link in a chain of developments that encircle central London. At present, the area is a vacant strip of land: a 43 acre breach in the urban fabric. It borders the divide between some of the wealthiest areas in London and some of London's most notorious and deprived housing estates. Hinging between the two extremes, the site has the potential to mediate the divide.
Long left underdeveloped, White City is mostly known as the geographical home of the BBC TV centre and Wormwood Scrubs prison. However, the site holds much potential for better utilisation of its environs and successful urban regeneration as well as many unique opportunities to renew the uniqueness of White City, that in the past was formed by Olympic Games and large scale international exhibitions.
Currently the site is under utilised and isolated from its surrounding advantages – seemingly cut-off by the very infrastructure that should generate urban connections. The masterplan is aiming at overcoming these barriers by making better use of the A40 and the London Underground's Hammersmith and City and Central Lines that all intersect the site.
Apart from the infrastructure the adjacent BBC Media Village and BBC TV centre lend vibrant media culture, the White City Shopping and Leisure Scheme stimulates local economy. Numerous neighbourhood parks and sports centres as well as the Wormwood Scrubs provide ample recreational opportunities.
It is an opportunity to reanimate a currently neglected and under utilised site but as an exciting forum for rethinking the notion of the masterplan. The plan frees the site from its barriers and creates links between the surrounding urban clusters. The design team intends to take a critical investigative approach to the local setting and interest groups through an intense consultative process to form a considered approach to contemporary London.
The White City landowners comprise the BBC with Land Securities, Marks & Spencer, Lattice Group Pension Scheme and Morley Fund Management with Helical Bar. They have joined together to masterplan a comprehensive redevelopment of their landholdings. Helical Bar has been appointed as project coordinator.
Competition 2004, Masterplan Development 2005
24.4 ha site at the western edge of London with link to two subway lines and the Westway highway
The White City Partnership
Masterplan development team:
Stuart Smith, Timothy Chapman, Stephen Cook, Richard Crabtree, Ian Fowler, Nicholas Gibbons, Peter Head, Stuart Jenkins, David Johnson,Chris Stratford, Jaap Wiedenhoff
Rory McGowan, Stuart Smith, Richard Crabtree, Ian Fowler
Partners in charge:
Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf
Markus Dettling, Beth Hughes
Floris Alkemade, Felipe Ballestra, Thibaut Barrault, Joshua Beck, Clement Blanchet, Christian Brimmer, Annalisa Castorri, Claire Destrebeq, Frank Eittorf, Benedicte Erritzoe, Nicolas Firket, Adam Frampton, Stamatis Giannikis, Andrew Griffin, Joyce Hsiang, Pieter Janssens, Pascal Lestringeant, Anna Little, Mee Michelle Liu, Jason Long, Rob de Maat, Ben Milbourne, Anne Moerman, David Eugin Moon, Matthew Murphy, Charles Peronin, Stefanie Rack, Alexander Reichert, Joana Sa' Lima, Richard Sharam, Shohei Shigematsu, Jin Song, Leo Stevens, Christin Svensson, Felix Tonnis, Laurent Troost, Boris Vapne, Minoru Watanabe, Camia Young, Claudia Wolsfeld
Building Design, 10 June 2005
Evening Standard 13 June 2005
Icon October 2005
Topos #58, 2007