Both multicultural and isolated at the same time, Soho stands as an ecosystem defined by communities that have colonized the space throughout history. The footprints and layers left by these groups form the rich mosaic of multiculturalism, transgression and authenticity that symbolises Soho. However, this richness is threatened by the global phenomenon of mass tourism that tends to trivialise and homogenise the soul of a place to transform it into its caricature. Infrastructure projects such as the Crossrail will introduce a constant influx of tourists in the very heart of Soho, affecting the authenticity that still survives thanks to the dense and impregnable urban pattern of the neighbourhood.
The urban proposals do not impose any character to Soho, but instead, highlight and strengthen its existing diversity. The new spaces are meant to be appropriated and colonised and by communities that will leave the next generation of footprints. Located in the few empty gaps between the urban fabric, these surgical interventions propose alternatives to the appropriation of the space by mass tourism and multinational stores and chains. The proposals contribute to the social and architectural heterogeneity of Soho, which stands as an example of how different ecosystems can actually co-exist in the same environment.
Collaboration: Tina Reichenbach & Tasos Theodorakakis
London, UK 2017