Architecture 'Live Project' Opens a Window onto Wembley’s Cultural Assets
RCA Architecture graduates have designed a public art installation for Wembley, which opened in mid-September as part of London Design Week. Created in collaboration with Brent Council and Quintain, the structure, Wembley Windows, invites visitors to engage with the rich history, present community and possible futures of Wembley Park.
The installation was conceived by Clementine Blakemore, Eleanor Hill, Ishbel Mull, Skye Yuxi Sun and Cherng-Min Teong as part of an RCA Architecture programme 'Live Project'. It was developed alongside local manufacturers and social enterprise Coming Soon Club, an initiative that fosters opportunities for the development of creative businesses within unused spaces in Wembley.
The structure creates a point for people to pause and reflect on their journey along Olympic Way, and consists of a series of pivoting timber frames connected by a steel track. These timber windows and benches can be arranged into different positions depending on the activities occurring around them. Passers-by and visitors are encouraged to sit, lean, read and interact with both the structure and information on display.
The windows have been designed to hold a collection of material celebrating the cultural assets of Wembley. Discussing working on the project, Cherng-Min Teong describes the diversity and heritage of the area: ‘Wembley is a place where you can eat your way around the world, and it also has a rich history of being a leisure town for London; starting with the Great Empire exhibition, all the way up to the present, hosting the NFL International Series.’
Wembley Windows forms a flexible framework for local stakeholders to participate in, so the arrangement of the material within the structure is designed to be easy to alter, and the entire physical configuration can change over time.
Over the summer, RCA graduates Clementine Blakemore and Cherng-Min Teong worked closely with designer–makers Aldworth James & Bond to fabricate and construct the installation. Discussing the project, Cherng-Min Teong explains: ‘It has been a great opportunity to work with various people on this project, the local manufacturers in Wembley, Coming Soon Club and Brent Council as well as the fabricators, we’ve learnt a lot through each of them.’
Adrian Friend, Senior Tutor and head of the Live Project programme, describes how projects such as Wembley Windows, form an important part of the Architecture programme at the College: ‘Wembley Windows, our second built live project this year after Helix pop-up studio, extends our live project expertise in delivering teaching pedagogies centred on public space research. We are now starting to establish similar projects with other London Boroughs, as part of academic-led research at both MA and doctoral level.’