Demountable solutions for small sites
Meanwhile Space, IF_DO, Weber Industries, and Elliot Wood in partnership with Southwark Council have worked together to create an innovative demountable building for an underused site in Rotherhithe. The building is occupied by 10 micro companies and 2 SMEs with a community garden at the back that faces both Rotherhithe tunnel and railway lines. It is designed with the intention that in 10 years’ time it can be demounted, relocated and rebuilt in a new location in London, continuing its life in another neighbourhood.
• 11 Year lease from Southwark Council
• £1500 pa ground rent
• 170m2 new workspace
• 10 6m2 units for local micro businesses
• 2 larger 60m2 & 40m2 units for growing businesses
• £130,000 grant from Southwark Council
• Headlease and SLA to govern social value
• £175,000 loan from Big Issue Invest
• £10,000 LWARB Circular Economy Grant
• £160,000 Meanwhile Space + Additional funds
• 11 week build schedule• Completion October 2021
• Total build cost £475,000 inc VAT
We built an experimental temporary workspace building that showcases a meanwhile solution to short life developments that is fit for purpose, unique and not an off-the-shelf model. The prototype project in Rotherhithe is an exceptional demonstration of an innovative structure that captures the opportunity and negotiates challenges afforded by temporary use sites and short life developments.
Sustainability and resourcefulness are key factors of the project. It is an opportunity to create a building and vision beyond the prototype which not only have a positive impact on the immediate site and its users, but also the surrounding community and local economy. Making use of the scarce resource land, and occupying a difficult otherwise empty site required foresight and the vision that new approaches could lead to great impact through small interventions.
The building has been designed to circular economy principles and wil be demountable with the possibility of being moved to another meanwhile use site at the end of its lease. Demonstrating the viability of this model and showing the practical realisation of de- and remounting the building is the next challenge. Meanwhile Space are currently working on a number of successors to this initial prototype in South London, further refining possibilities, operations and use of resources.