Architype has teamed up with members of the Occupy protest movement to create an eco-village at Finsbury Square in London
The studio has designed a low-cost demountable pavilion made from structural newspaper bales and reclaimed timber palettes for the protestors.
The building is part of Occupy’s plans to create a showcase for low-cost, self-build infrastructure and housing projects on the Islington green space which is also home to Eric Parry’s 2003 Stirling Prize Shortlisted 30 Finsbury Square office building.
The Finsbury Square protest camp was established in October following a similar anti-capitalist demonstration at nearby St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London.
A statement from the architect explained: ‘Archtiype has its roots in the self build movement originally designing Segal buildings for self build cooperatives in the 1980s.
‘However, over the past 25 years an increase in regulation, a lack of funding opportunities and a reticence amongst insurers to cover self built homes
has meant a great reduction in its popularity.
‘The Government has recently come out in support of self build as a solution to the housing crisis. However, it remains to be seen whether tangible measures will be put in place to encourage its use.
‘Self build is a tool that empowers communities. It enables the learning of new skills, and gives people a sense of purpose and achievement. For all of these reasons, Architype believes that it is a pertinent time to remind people of what can be achieved through cooperation and self-determination.’
The company also called on architects to donate materials and their expertise to help with the project, advising them to register any interest with their London office.
A spokesperson for local authority Islington Council, which opposes the village, said: ‘[We] are very reluctant to waste vital money on expensive legal action [against the protestors], but we have not ruled it out if we are left with no choice.’