12 Jan 2012

Boxpark, Shoreditch

The United Kingdom’s cities are littered with derelict sites once of industrial activity. The re-use of these sites does not have to be permanent in order to have an impact on the environment and its surroundings. With the Olympic Games heading to East London in 2012, Roger Wade, of designer clothing brand ‘Boxfresh’ felt it was the perfect time to launch his latest idea, Boxpark, a ‘pop-up’ shopping mall located on a brownfield site in Shoreditch. The Bishopsgate Goods Yard site opened its doors in August 2011 as the world’s first shopping mall to be constructed entirely using recycled shipping containers. The idea makes use of a site at a time when all eyes will be on the East of London, not only promoting the area but also the creative re-use of shipping containers.

The mall is split in two halves, retail at ground level and a mixed-use area upstairs including cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and exhibition space. No high-street brands can be found on site either, encouraging the rise of new independent designers to demonstrate their innovative abilities to a wider audience. Boxpark, described as ‘Shoreditch’s answer to a 2011 shopping mall’ has identity, uniqueness and something that distinguishes itself from any other mall, within which you could quite easily forget where you were sometimes as they all look the same!!

The development displays grand scale recycling on a level that has not been seen in the world today, It makes use of an empty site in an expanding city, enhances the local economy, uses a completely recycled structural element and further still creates a vibrant social core encouraging interaction and life, a fantastic example of what can be achieved through recycling.

Comments please :) particularly if you have been there.. what did you think? did it feel temporary?? Ill be checking it out for sure over the next few weeks during my Xmas break.

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