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.

Romford Public Realm

As part of a Transport for London Major Scheme, Studio Weave led a multidisciplinary team through the design phase of public realm improvements around Romford station for the London Borough of Havering.

We worked on the redevelopment of two key routes to and from Romford train station, which had not received investment for a long time, prior to the connection of the Crossrail network planned for 2017. 

The two routes take in the shop-lined Victoria Road to the east and the Battis, a pedestrian route through the railway arches towards a number of key new housing developments to the west.

We began with an extensive engagement programme due to the complex network of stakeholders involved, which gave the project a real momentum. As the design process progressed, we worked with the council to coordinate a significant period of negotiation with local residents and land owners.

When we first encountered Victoria Road and the Battis, both areas were suffering from fundamental logistical problems; our approach was to re-design the public realm so that it not only looked better, but also worked better.

Our proposals for Victoria Road included rationalising car parking, improving the area for local business and pedestrians alike by de-cluttering pavements, improving lighting and visibility of the shop fronts and increasing crossings, as well as introducing more greenery and consistent good quality materials. 

For the Battis, we have sought to enhance the physical environment including a brightly coloured paving pattern pointing the way to the station so as to make the route feel safer and brighter and improve natural surveillance, while at the same time providing the infrastructure for the Battis arches to become an outdoor art gallery.

Following on from our work on the Major Scheme public realm improvements, we have since been involved in the ongoing Crossrail station design as a client advisor for LB Havering.

We set up a project space in one of several empty shops on Victoria Road and transformed it into One Station Parade, a project space that helped to initiate a dialogue between our team and the local community, and offer us a better understanding of their opinions and needs, which could feed into our proposals from the outset.

One Station Parade has been home to a wide variety of artists in residence, workshops and events. 

Painter and poet Robert Aldous secured permission from a number of shops to paint artworks on their shutters creating an immediate improvement...

...masterknitter Clare Sams engaged businesses and customers by teaching them to finger knit and asking them to contribute to her fantastic knitted versions of shop fronts along the street...

...and performance artist Natalie Bays created a Romford version of BBC children’s TV show Swap Shop.

Alongside the residencies, we held a number of other workshops and events to engage including: a social media seminar... exhibition of historic photos; a writing safari where participants explored and wrote about Romford’s hidden River Rom; a craft workshop making safety devices to combat life’s fears; a zine-making workshop for local young people about their favourite places in Romford...

...a participatory sculpture made from locally salvaged materials by artist Rich White; a mosaic workshop interpreting the River Rom...

...and a timber chair-making workshop.  As a celebratory event, we held an exhibition to bring together all that took place at One Station Parade, including converting one of the old storerooms into a mini-cinema to show Natalie’s film.

The final event was a workshop we ran with a local primary school to re-imagine the forecourt area in front of One Station Parade. In programming the space we led the procurement, appointment, briefing, and management of artists, illustrators, graphic designers and other creative practitioners.