Redefining Leftovers

05 April, 2014

Redefining Leftovers

The regeneration of London's Lea Valley area through the creative and cultural development of isolated and forgotten leftover spaces.

Greek version

Student Name: Mikaella Theofanopoulou
Supervisor Professor: Harriet Harris
Advisor Professor: Dan Jones, Frederik Rissom
University: Oxford School of Architecture
Presentation date : Μάιος 2013

The Lower lea valley area is one of London's most neglected public spaces but is enriched with industrial history. The site encompasses  an area southeast of the Olympic Stadium and on the other side of the river spanning between London's new cable car and the Olympic Park. It is an area of distinctive and sometimes extreme characteristics. The east of London fragments into abandoned places and infrastructure, an economy based on manufacturing, yard and depot businesses, scrap, waste and storage services. The site I selected sits in the location where heritage meets industry and culture meets technology.

Giving attention to the geographical advantages of the site and the existing life circumstances, I tried to create a comprehensive development that generates a well- connected mixed use quarter with a strong focus on employment uses, cultural and creative activities and the active residential community.

I attempted to reflect a sensitive and innovative response to distinctive heritage and waterfront assets with an emphasis on the reuse and adaptation of existing spaces that inform high quality design proposals for the site.



Main Ideas

Family of connection structures

Mixed space creation

Enhance green infrastructure

Place making (health and inspiration, education and exercise)

In more detail, I tried to develop:

-the economy to create wealth, business and employment for local residents.

-people to help local residents find jobs and succeed in the knowledge driven community

-marketing to promote the transformation of the area into a global city-district and attract on going public.

-places which combine a healthy environment with enjoyable open spaces and a well-designed mix of good quality services.



The programme includes:
Cafe, organic restaurant, healthy cooking classes, gardening and planting lessons, day-care nursery, training cooking seminars, residential units for rent during the seminar time, health classes

Buildings' names:

Organic living centre
Community resource centre
Gardening hub


Organic way of life, organic philosophy, vegetable and fruit production, landscape/plots/allotments

incorporation of features designed to reduce the effects of the negative impact of climate change

zero carbon technology promotion

renewable energy systems

green materials use (timber, bamboo etc)


To sum up, the major study project ''redefining leftovers'' develops a consistent understanding of the public realm in the lower lea valley exploiting the relationships of the diverse spaces and their link to the river, the road and the green areas. It explores the values, potentialities and peculiarities of the leftover spaces using guerrilla urbanism and innovative design as tools to promote them. The site is located in a zone where industrial meets residential and where culture and history clash with technology and heavy infrastructure. A comprehensive development that creates  a well connected mixed use quarter with a strong focus on recycling, healthy cooking and living, engages the existing residential community improving their life quality and developing the economy to create wealth, business and employment. The proposal of a new pedestrian bridge, links the residential areas with the proposed development, promotes the transformation of the area into a global city district and attracts on going public. The creation of a healthy environment with the combination of enjoyable open spaces and a well design mix of good quality services, achieves an innovative and exemplary approach to urban design and architecture that responds to the area's constraints and opportunities.


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