Today's xsite is Adrian...
Pop-ups and pallets, restaurants in car parks and
artists on the high street, the themes of temporary adaption, retrofit and
make-do-and-mend were on the rise in design before the recession but have
become something of an imperative over the last 4 years.
The disciplines of architecture and urbanism are no
exception, where the retreat of development funding, plummeting values and
surplus floorspace have provided a challenge to communities, property owners
and designers alike.
Over the last couple of years xsite have been involved in a
number of temporary and ‘meanwhile use’ projects, applying a shift in thinking
to a more DIY mentality, as part of what can be seen as an 'incremental'
approach to development and regeneration.
Pallet ‘Micro Offices’ were designed and constructed as a temporary means to exploit an unlet 1,800sqft floorplate at BOHO 1 in Middlesbrough. Fully occupied by individuals and micro businesses from the off, they were recently dismantled to allow a more conventional let to re-occupy the space.
The Cycle Hub,
a social enterprise set up to provide a
physical focus for cyclists and cycle culture on Tyneside has taken a
temporary lease on the former Regeneration Centre building on Newcastle’s
Quayside. xsite worked with the tightest of budgets to reinvent the building’s
function space to house a thriving cafe, bike shop and workshop.
Ouse Street Arts Club
is a self-developed and self-built
space, a curated venue based in converted shipping containers in Newcastle’s
Lower Ouseburn Valley. Conceived as a stop-gap use for a derelict, future
development site the evolving space is a focal point for a range of events and
creative activity and is an advanced bridgehead in the regeneration of the
In each case the ‘Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper’ thinking these
projects utilise helps unlock economic, social and creative value which might
otherwise sit behind a ‘to let’ sign, while also priming them for the next
phase of an evolving development story.