Client: Hadley Property Group
Location: London, UK
Sector: Built environment - development
Collaborators: London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), Mecanoo, Delva, Buro Happold, Deloitte
IQL North, Stratford, is a mixed-use development on the eastern edge of Stratford's Olympic Park.
It will host a broad range of uses for local residents. Alongside new homes with a high provision of affordable housing, plans will include food and beverage offerings, community gardens, a health and wellbeing-focused community centre, a sustainable transport hub and a flexible workspace, supporting the growth of East London-based businesses.
Public consultation formally began in October 2022, displaying early ideas for the development to local residents and the wider community, both online and at The Lighthouse. Consultation feedback will inform the development of our proposals in the coming months, leading to our second round of consultation in February of 2023.
To use SpaceForm as a tool for public consultations, specifically engaging local young people to see plans for the project in an immersive, interactive environment to talk through the site. Providing a platform to explore different design options that would benefit children the most - engaging them with the future of their area and city.
SpaceForm is the first of its kind in the UK to provide this service to developers, in order to drastically improve the way we gather input and feedback from communities during the design process, while reducing time and costs usually involved.
Children and young people from LLDC’s Elevate Group in Stratford - who live minutes from the development site and therefore know the area well - were able to experience the designs in SpaceForm’s realistic virtual environment. Children walked around the 3D representation at their own accord, interacted with elements within the digital twin of the scheme and its surrounding area and explored different options for types of play space, public realm and retail provisions, exploring how the space will function in real life. Participants also discussed how to work the different level changes within the site, what to do with water, and provided feedback around connectivity, ensuring digital inclusion.
The first session was conducted via desktop laptops in a real-life setting, but Hadley has plans to broaden their reach with young people even wider by rolling out further engagement completely remotely, with participants joining the SpaceForm platform with their avatar from the comfort of their own homes, to walk the site together.
Matt Griffiths-Rimmer at Hadley said: “We weren't saying: 'Do you think we should move this building?'. So, we tried to be honest about the areas of influence that people could actually input onto. There's nothing about moving buildings around on the site. But there's quite a lot that people can really get into. And the feedback was incredible. I think it was probably because of the quality of the room, as much as the tech, which landed really, really well.”