The Architecture Foundation (AF) has commissioned two permanent outdoor gateway structures at Gibbon’s Rent in London, and a new exhibition.

Superuse Studio's new permanent arches will be installed at the AF's Gibbon's Rent project in central London. Copyright: Max Creasy
Superuse Studio's new permanent arches will be installed at the AF's Gibbon's Rent project in central London. Copyright: Max Creasy

Established in 1997 by Jan Jongert and Cesare Peeren, Superuse Studios uses reclaimed and recycled materials as the starting point for its creative practice, viewing re-use as an integrated design strategy it dubs ‘superuse’.

This concept applies to building materials as well as energy supplies, human resources, water, transport, and food cycles. Superuse Studios ‘develops strategies for cities to connect different closed loop systems, while integrating these processes into the existing urban environment’.

Commissioned by the AF in collaboration with Team London Bridge and Southwark Council, the practice will design new entry gateway structures for the AF’s Gibbon’s Rent project, a public realm transformation of a long forgotten cut through into a permanent shared green space. The structures will be created using reclaimed materials harvested from the local area, and will become an important asset in raising awareness, and attracting new visitors to this ‘secret garden’.

The exhibition ‘InsideFlows: the Superuse Approach to Design’, at the AF’s central London Project Space in early June, will present the Studio’s ongoing collaborative research with the INSIDE Masters programme at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. It will also ‘include reference to the Gibbon’s Rent Gateways.

Focusing on the subject of resource-based design – or in Superuse Studio’s words ‘superusing available flows and resources and connecting them into urban ecosystems’, it will be based around a series of case studies by Superuse and ‘selected other authors’. The show’s contents will be displayed in a site-specific exhibition installation with a public events programme, collaboratively developed by the AF and Superuse.

The exhibition, which will form part of the AF’s headline contribution to the 2013 London Festival of Architecture, will also host the UK launch of the Superuse – Harvest Mapping website, a new digital platform connecting makers and clients with resource streams of reclaimable materials.

With a diverse portfolio spanning architecture, research, interior and furniture design, Superuse Studio’s past projects include Wikado playspace, a playground made from discarded windmill parts; Villa Welpeloo, a residential project that aspired to use as much surplus material as possible; and DordtYart, a versatile space for contemporary art housed within a converted former shipping yard.


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