Pipe radio

Location: London
Year completed: 2018
Client: Broadgate
Architect: Scale Rule
Wider team: NLA, Broadgate, The Metal Store

The exchange square site offered a unique design challenge for the teams of GCSE students charged with coming up with the concept design for a project to encourage more social interaction at the heart of Broadgate. Under the expert guidance of Scale Rule a range of design responses were developed with the winning scheme a tree like form made from pipe.

Encouraging social interaction in a space used mostly as a lunch spot for city workers or a through route for commuters presented an interesting challenge. The installation responded to this brief in two ways, firstly by developing a piece that presented intrigue in it’s form from key vantage points and secondly through the actual act of providing a mechanism to interact with one another. A shiny steel tree responded to the first challenge with the scale providing an element of daring. The pipes themselves allowed people to speak to one another across the installation giving the element of interactivity.

At the heart of the project was the desire to reduce the environmental impact of the installation. For this reason a tube clamp system was utilised which meant all connections were bolted allowing also for easy assembly and disassembly. The plywood for the benches was made from reclaimed construction site hoardings destined for landfill. Following disassembly all the pipe and connectors were returned to the supplier for reuse.

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