Set over six days in the spring, Romford Architecture week was a partnership project between a shopping centre, the local authorities, a senior school, a college, two architecture firms and a development company working in the town. The week’s aim was to inspire the next generation of Romfordians to become interested in a career in architecture, and to provide access for local families to identify and talk about what is happening in their local built environment. Split into three different learning events, it was also a unique way to work in partnership with the local authorities and companies that will ultimately end up changing the living environments of our participants.
Guided by two architecture firms working on local built environment projects, ten students from Havering Colleges were invited to a professional internship and build programme for the full week schedule. Beginning with a live brief, students learned about how to find a career in architecture and created a scale landscape of Romford Town. They were also taught model-building skills and perspective and continued the week as architect and art assistants in a work experience capacity - supporting younger participants.
Designed and led by urban design duo WSMS, this two day ‘live game’ to masterplan a site in a shopping centre doubled up as an intensive course on masterplanning and urban design. The course asked senior school age students to consider their surroundings, the retail environment, and most importantly gave them the opportunity to present (in real and practical plans) what they would propose changing in the shopping centre, to its management team, and the town, to the leader of the borough Council.
This family drop-in workshop was a two day live event for families to build a scale model of ‘their perfect Romford town’. With a to-scale map on the floor, created by ‘Build!’ interns, all ages were able to participate in using recycled and different textured materials to follow logistics in the town; building miniature parks, cool new shops and even an airport!
The event also displayed information learned by the students in previous days and allowed conversation between parents and residents at the event.
Havering Architecture Week 2020
As Romford Architecture week was a success in 2019, it was commissioned again for Spring 2020, with further contributions from architect and building development companies and a brand new activity for -5 year olds in 'Big Curiosity Build'. There were also plans to expand into the borough and introduce events into Rainham, another large residential development area, and fulfill a 'Havering Architecture Week'.
Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic situation the week has been forced to be postponed. We hope to continue with Havering Architecture Week in Autumn 2020.