by Mario Priore

Reacting against the model of consumerist society criticised in the 1950s by the Situationist movement, this scheme on the site of Poplar’s Robin Hood Gardens Estate aims to bring pleasure back to one of the most industry-driven areas of London. Informed by an architectural analysis of the film True Stories, and by pre-capitalist urban farms, the walled garden allows the growing of the ingredients making up the traditional cuisine of RHG’s Bengali community. The food grown on site supplies the estate’s families and allows for seasonal food festivals - a pleasurable celebration of East London’s culinary and cultural diversity. Taking over the derelict remains of Victorian industrial buildings in Whitechapel, this new theatre and community hub manifests itself as a contemporary intervention of timber, ETFE and copper construction that contrasts with the existing brick ruins. The theatre subverts the traditional stage-stalls-boxes setup we are all familiar with, and takes visitors on a journey through both the site and a new, innovative concept of theatrical performance. As the client explains: ‘I like my audience to see the process of making the work which makes up the choreography being staged. The performance itself is a celebration of the process behind it’