In 2015, we joined forces with Architecture 00. Together, we enjoy collaborating in a shared environment where strategic, urban and social designers, architects, programmers and economists practice design beyond its traditional borders. 00 work with individuals, governments, corporations and communities to solve problems and anticipate change, and to design successful platforms and places. As a studio it aims to reach beyond the design of objects themselves to the social, economic and environmental systems behind them.

Mitcham Regeneration

Studio Weave has been appointed by the Greater London Authority and London Borough of Merton to deliver a multi-stranded brief through the Outer London Fund (OLF), including market regeneration, shopfront and open space improvements, and public events for Mitcham Town Centre. For us the various complex aspects of the brief all boiled down to a rejuvenation of public life in Mitcham, with the aim of creating a lasting legacy from our project work.

As part of the open space improvements, we have led an Artportunities project, commissioning a series of ambitious artworks for empty walls and fences that we identified at key spots in and around the town centre. We have overseen the removal of an overbearing canopy at Majestic Way, enabling the pedestrianised shopping street to feel light, welcoming and safe. We've also assessed the feasibility of a market canopy and boardwalk at Three Kings Pond.

We worked with three parades of shops, making interventions that celebrate them as prominent buildings around Fair Green, and a number of individual shops that are spread across the town centre, allowing as many people as possible to feel personally part of the regeneration of Mitcham.

Mitcham has suffered from a fragmented town centre with busy roads slicing through that create pockets of busy and quiet areas – with the shopfront improvements, we have sought to tie the centre together as one business community and local shopping destination, looking to the peripheries of the town centre (thinking of them more as gateways) as well as around the market and Fair Green.

In taking a holistic approach while zooming in on details, our proposals look to make a positive impact on the entire town centre, not just concentrated areas – looking into how relatively small gestures can boost confidence and in turn positively affect perception of the public spaces and local business.

In parallel, Mitcham town centre is also undergoing a series of major infrastructural changes and we have worked closely with the council’s urban design team to deliver public realm and shopfront improvements that complement improvements to highways and transport.

Our approach to the Mitcham project has been a combination of hard, physical interventions and softer communication elements.

During the first year of the project, Studio Weave delivered a communication strategy that includes a community website, press campaign, and a number of market events tailored to Mitcham, ranging from a Valentine Dance, to a Spring Clean, to the Big Hair Do, followed by a Food Festival and Winter Warmer.

Mitcham has a relatively young market (established in the 1990s) that has been struggling with economic, physical and management issues, however there is a great deal of enthusiasm for the market within the local community and it is this energy we have sought to harness in order to nurture the market through a series of iterative experiments and changes over a year period.

As part of a large complex team of consultants involved in the project, our work in Mitcham has facilitated community-led regeneration, with community groups and businesses at the centre of the development of proposals, ensuring that the regeneration work leaves a real lasting legacy that is relevant to local residents and businesses.