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Designers reveal mixed-use kiosk to transform London's streets

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Enterprising design duo reveal kiosk-cum-street-furniture concept in an attempt to counter the ‘thousands of useless obstructions’ blocking pedestrians in the capital

The concept is the brainchild of Allies and Morrison architect Tomaso Boano and BDP designer Jonas Prišmontas, who first came up with the idea after moving to London five years ago.

According to the duo, the Black Box kiosk concept could be deployed across the capital to help public space be used more effectively.

The structure is being billed as an ‘unobstructive piece of street furniture’ which can be transformed into a space with a commercial or a public use - a hybrid of a pop-up shop and kiosk.

By using hydraulic columns, the walls can be lifted to become a customised space and used for anything from a workshop, library and ticket office to a small retail outlet or mini-cinema.

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Boano said: ’London is the city that gave me many opportunities, and it has been my battlefield and the place that shaped my views as a designer. Five years has been enough to see the city rapidly changing. Nowadays, London architecture risks being relegated to the mere role of a tool for urban expansion and business only.

‘Young architects have a duty to deliver a wider, more complex point of view about the city we live in.’

Made from durable vandal-proof materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions, the structure can also provide a series of intimate sitting spaces when closed.

Designers’ view

With rapidly growing urban population and the building density in cities increasing at an enormous rate, the public space is becoming more and more precious. Over the last few decades the humanity has witnessed great technological advancements in telecommunications, transport, energy production, construction etc.

On the other hand, a concept of one of the most important elements of an economically healthy street -a retail kiosk- has long been neglected in terms of its functionality and physical configuration. London, one of the largest metropolises, hosts thousands of kiosks and there are thousands of design variations. However, at the end of the day they all just close down and pay no contribution to the street. Moreover, there are the days when the non-mobile kiosks do not open for business at all, and act as useless obstructions, shamelessly blocking the increasing pedestrian traffic.

The sculptural shape of the kiosk allows four different elevations, which makes the shape look similar yet different from all sides. Its aim is to create curiosity and evoke people’s playfulness. The sculpted stairs work as a suggestive element that invites people to explore and use this piece of street furniture. When the roof is lifted up, it acts as a beacon -an unusual element that can be seen from far away- that invites people to find out about the activities inside. Creating a point of attraction and gathering can be a significantly beneficial in revitalisation of some poor quality urban spaces.

Investors are currently being sought for the concept, and the team are investigating the technical aspects of the design.


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