‘Silver-Smithy’ is a collection of new workspaces for The GLA and the London Borough of Newham. Our shortlisted competition entry proposes units inspired by the ethos of training and apprenticeships in traditional smithy workshops.
Individual smithies are grouped into clusters with experienced master makers and apprentices from the Silvertown area. Experienced makers become creative leaders for young people in the Royal Docks, helping forge a new generation of local designers.
The smithies are cost-effective, building regulation compliant, timber structures based on the typical ‘garden room’ home office, as seen at the bottom of many London gardens. These simple 4 by 3 metre spaces are prefabricated and inserted under the Silvertown Flyover. Smithies can be joined as start-up companies grow. The flexibility of these modular units allows the entire community to start small yet grow as demand increases.
A truncated pyramid roof to each smithy creates a double-height volume, resulting in a space that feels generous despite a compact plan. Smithies are digitally fabricated from 24mm plywood, expanded cork and OSB board using the communal CNC cutter on site.
Project Architect: Ben Ridley
Location: Silvertown, London E16
Featured: Architects Journal