Reimagining Mayfair: DK-CM with Pablo Bronstein and support from Project Centre
Our proposal is to reinstate Mayfair’s 18th-century May Fair, this time as a major cultural event programmed by the cultural institutions of Burlington House. This is a response to the problem of reinvigorating culture in a place where land values and commercial pressure have pushed spontaneity and cultural production elsewhere. In this context we propose an event that, through a curatorial approach, brings such cultural production back to the streets of the West End.
Building on existing activism in the area, and the council’s use of Special Policy Areas to protect subtleties of use, we propose to designate Mayfair as a Special Policy Area for Culture, allowing planners to advocate for cultural programming. At the area’s centre, a permanent shared surface will be provided in the form of a fully serviced, fine-grain granite pavement, which occasionally flowers into ornament in the form of areas of patterned ‘carpet’. During the annual May Fair, these carpets become the sites for commissioned event structures which demarcate and occupy the neighbourhood.
The prevailing aesthetic of Mayfair is not brick or stucco but the fabric and sheet material of increasingly ambitious site hoardings, which embody the area’s imperative to reinvent, increase density, and remain contemporary. Our proposed structures, each a commissioned work in its own right, will be theatrical architectures which sit comfortably in this constantly provisional environment.