The three practices engaged by Mayor of London Boris Johnson have revealed their designs for “Heathrow City” – the plan to replace the Airport with homes and employment space.
The designs, by HawkinsBrown, Rick Mather, and Maccreanor Lavington, vary, but all include homes for around 190,000 people, and would aim to support 90,000 new jobs.
HawkinsBrown propose a self-build modular home factory, where people could order homes to their own specifications.
Rick Mather Architects’ proposal would use the runways and terminals to provide the skeleton of a “new hub city” while Maccreanor Lavington’s vision aims to “develop a fully functioning city within the capital” and plant large amounts of woodland.
Transport for London commissioned the architects to provide designs that would cover several options for the redevelopment of Heathrow airport if a new hub airport to the east of London is agreed by the Government.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The demand for new homes and jobs in the capital is such that we must be ready to start redeveloping Heathrow the moment it moves to its new site. And the sooner we start planning the better.”
HawkinsBrown’s proposal for Heathrow City “aspires to capture the imagination and provide a platform for innovation”. The ideas proposed include a factory for homes and a “green belt in the green belt”. The homes factory aims to increase the rate of new housing being built. Online customisation would allow Londoners to order homes to their own specifications as is common in a number of European countries, where ‘self-build’ is a popular way of creating new homes. They hope digital fabrication technology would make endless iterations no more expensive than standard products.
Darryl Chen, Partner at HawkinsBrown, said: “A big site like Heathrow needs big ideas. Heathrow City should be a platform for innovation on a massive scale. We want to capture the same pioneering spirit and romance that characterised Heathrow’s first airborne adventures. We hope our vision inspires other new ideas about Heathrow’s and London’s future.”
Rick Mather Architects proposal would see the Heathrow site evolve to become a new hub city by working with the existing structure and using the terminals as “generators to development”. The former runways would define the structure of the city and connect ten distinct local centres, all of which would provide a cluster of retail, education and community uses. Those centres would be focused around the transport connections and airport buildings would be retained. Developers would look to create a research, technology and manufacturing hub that might specialise in housing production, hydroponics, anaerobic digestion and biofuels. A wide range of new housing types would also include 21st century reinterpretations of successful London models of individual houses, terraces, mansion blocks and communal squares.
Gavin Miller, partner at Rick Mather Architects, said: “Our proposal “The Transforming City” explores the natural emergence of a vibrant and integrated new hub city from the existing airport structure, embedded in its setting and wider landscape, singular and distinctive, at one with its immediate setting and locality, yet fully tuned for regional, national and international opportunity”
Maccreanor Lavington propose a fully functioning city within the metropolis, characterised by “a rich mix of ecology, culture, employment and liveability”. A technology campus to help grow London’s global status for scientific research and development would be built to the east of the current site. New housing would be influenced by emerging trends that might include self build, community-led development, temporary housing, a development corporation and developer-led housing delivery. The former terminal 2 building would be renovated to become a civic centre and retail hub that would form the heart of the new community at Heathrow City.