The Mayor's Public Space Charter

I was pretty stoked to be invited to pitch an idea alongside nine other speakers for the Mayor's forthcoming Public Space Charter at an event organised by Architecture Foundation.


The Everyday

I was recently asked to give a short presentation titled:
A Good Piece Of Everyday Design From A Place I Know Well

The stair in Homerton Library lends a legibility and a human scale to the interior that mirrors that of the building itself in relation to Homerton High Street. 

The stair begins just inside the entrance, at a point between the foyer and the library proper. At the top of the stair: to the right a narrow gallery overlooking the void, to the left an expansive room filled with evenly spaced small square desks. 

In that room are whiskery men reading newspapers, an elderly lady with piles of paperwork, teenagers working on coursework and assorted millennial and gen x freelancers. I prefer the desk in the back corner overlooking the street.

The winding stair is held between two heavy breezeblock walls but the grip is given lightness by a fine shadow gap that runs around. It is given breathing space by the end wall that is mostly – but not entirely – glazed. That wall offers a view of the sky as you walk up and a view of the busy pavement as you walk down. It is a connection to the High Street, on that stair you are pleasantly sequestered, but not bluntly cut off from the world.

On bright days, southern light forms brilliant trapezoid shapes on the vivid pink wall – a sassy touch that painted pink wall.

The stair’s broad, shallow treads invite a leisurely pace. They are complimented by a slender hovering hardwood banister that has a richness and an agreeable smoothness.

I always take my time on that stair.