23 November 2018

MICA speaks at Future Cities Forum on Arts and Commercial-led regeneration

MICA Director Gavin Miller spoke at the latest Future Cities forum on ‘Arts-led regeneration and tourism driving city economies’ on 22 November 2018.

Taking place at the Royal Arsenal Woolwich, Gavin participated on a panel of leading cultural and commercial figures to discuss creative and retail quarter developments, highlighting MICA’s experience in transformation of under-utilised areas of the city into vibrant cultural + commercial destinations.

He was joined by: Stephen Wingfield, Estates Director at TATE; Paul Williams from the Stoke-on-Trent Cultural Partnership; and Fran Sanderson, Director of Arts Programmes and Investments, NESTA.

One of London’s most recent and significant urban quarter developments is the MICA-designed Centre Point redevelopment in Central London. Speaking about the project, Gavin said: “the opportunity that Centre Point has is that it’s not just a tower – it’s a tower then there’s a bridge then there’s a house so there’s three elements to it. It has all the same kind of perimeters as Leicester Square, it’s got buildings in it, but it’s got that level of position and presence so it’s a great opportunity.”

The Centre Point redesign creates activity at street level through improvements to landscaping, surfaces and routes, as well as a triple height glass fronted retail unit. Talking about these design decisions, Gavin said:
“In order to activate it as much as possible around the edges, we’ve not just activated it with shops at ground floor, we made sure the upper units have a ground floor presence, so you intensify the use in the space. We’ve got giant glass sliding doors – 9 metres high – that dissolve the boundaries between public and retail space where the road used to go.”

MICA’s approach to successfully making creative quarters involves careful design, with a consideration of context, scale and quantum together with an understanding of retail trends and tenant’s requirements. Acknowledging this, Gavin stated “we work with the whole context, we use this history to create innovation and ideas for things to respond to.”

Topics discussed during the panel discussion included: balancing cultural spaces with café/retail spaces when creating or re-inventing a cultural venue; attracting interest in the arts via investment in outdoor public spaces and retail; introducing residential and retail into challenging urban sites.

For more information about the Future Cities Forums, click here.

To watch an except from the discussion, click here.

Our transformational masterplan at the Southbank has created one of world's largest leisure destinations
Southbank now attracts over 8 million visitors a year
Greenwich world heritage site
MICA are creating a new world class public square at Centre Point
1 / 4 Our transformational masterplan at the Southbank has created one of world's largest leisure destinations
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