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.

Electric Pedals Arches

We were asked to develop a scheme to convert a pair of railway arches into an office and workshop for pedal-power machine makers and events organisers Electric Pedals.

Describing themselves as ‘artists, physicists, educationalists and environmentalists’, Electric Pedals create interactive installations by adapting bicycles in order to whip up excitement surrounding science and learning, and thinking differently about energy production.

They increasingly require a permanent base to make the machines, host workshops and to store piles of accumulated bike parts… which is where we come in.

Electric Pedals were invited by the council to put forward a proposal for how they could inhabit two railway arches, which sit adjacent to a skate park in need of a neighbour to keep an eye on it.

With our design we aim to make every bit of space available – whether it is squeezed under train tracks or between walls – inhabitable and useful space.

There will be enclosed office and workshop space that allows light in through polycarbonate walls; semi-exterior ‘rooms’ and outdoor area for holding group workshops and events; and a self-contained studio, which can be used for residencies.

Our approach has been inspired by the proactive, do-it-yourself attitude of Electric Pedals and we have tailored the design to fit the project’s tight budget so that it can be predominantly self-built using simple materials.

The structure plugs into the form of each arch, making maximum use of the height of the existing spaces and introducing a mezzanine level.

It was important for the design to allow for phasing so that Electric Pedals can move into the space as quickly as possible and continue to build while on site.

The first element to be completed will be the tiled floor, a tangible starting point that ties all the spaces together and defines the scale of the project. All other components will be CNC-cut and easy to fabricate in situ.