public works and 30 Bird worked with pupils at St Matthew's Primary School to design The Factory. This is the first of five structures to be built by this unique partnership of performance makers, pupils and architects. Titled MUD it is a key part of a long-term project linked to the redevelopment of the school premises. The structures are designed to be outdoor play structures and also to house arts and cultural events open to the public – playgrounds for imagination that are open to all.

Over an 18 month period public works and 30 Bird worked closely with pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents and the surrounding community, capturing their stories and triggering their imaginations. The children actively participated in the architectural design process.

When asked about the project, a St Matthew's pupil said "We've never done anything like this before. I wish we could do more"

The Factory launched on Wednesday 27 November with music from the school choir and Mawson Street Community Orchestra.


public works will be speaking at this Urban Research Unit event:

Economics of the Future City will broadly explore the influence of future economic trends on the development of London as a city. The event aims to examine a number of topics including community based currencies, social housing and private development, the influence of national/ global economic conditions on urban growth and the role of the cultural sector in recording and responding to the dramatic changes to our urban centres.

Jackie Sadek (Chief Executive Officer, UK Regeneration)
Elizabeth Cox (Senior Economist, New Economics Foundation)
Charles Kriel (Managing Director, 12 Stories Tall)
Keith Brewis (International Managing Partner, Grimshaw)
Andreas Lang (Director, public works) 

The Urban Research Unit is a joint initiative that will consider and challenge the conventional approach used to plan and develop contemporary urban centres. Urban Research Unit (URU) is a one year initiative of Grimshaw Architects and Futurecity aimed at developing a fresh approach for intelligent and creative urban placemaking within the context of New York and London.

Grimshaw offices
57 Clerkenwell Road
London EC1M 5NG
United Kingdom