London At Night Could Be Much More Fun

By M@ Last edited 22 months ago
London At Night Could Be Much More Fun

Can we make London more fun at night? Sure, there are plenty of gigs, parties, clubs and boozers, but could we be more creative in how we use the city after dark?

That was the brief of the Night Time is the Right Time competition, organised by The Built Environment Trust and supported by the Mayor of London.

Here is the winning idea, from Farrells.

The proposal, called 'myKanaal' would "transform London’s waterways with a network of flexible and mobile boat markets operating around the clock. Towpaths which are traditionally intimidating at night become animated with flexible infrastructure to encourage late-night use".

The whole thing would be coordinated by an app, which would help visitors see what's happening, and give boat owners guidance on where to moor. We could see it working somewhere like Camden Town or Haggerston.

Now here's one of the runners-up:

It's an outdoor toilet called a Uritrottoir. The design, by Faltazi, offers a fragrant al fresco pissing experience to half the population. Golden deposits are soaked up by straw and sawdust in the lower section. The resulting mulch not only reduces odour, but can also be used as compost in local parks.

The second runner-up was a group called Daily tous les jours who offered this:

These illuminated swings "play different notes depending on the position of participants and create melodies when they are synchronised". They've already been tried in five cities across the world. We reckon they'd find a receptive home in London at some place like Granary Square in King's Cross — well away from anyone's bedroom.

Three other ideas that caught our eye:

Carpe Noctem - a pop-up event space whose gaudiness would have us retching into the nearest Uritrottoir
Synesthesia - "a London-based interactive and iterative structure computationally generated with acting forces as the design constraint." We have literally no idea what that means, but it looks kind of pretty.
A pop-up train exhibition and event space that makes use of empty stations in the middle of the night. (It also seems to have a time-travel capability — King's Cross hasn't looked like this for a decade.)

For now, the proposals are simply conversation pieces, but it would be a shame if none of them were taken forward.

These and other ideas can be seen at an exhibition in The Building Centre, Store Street WC1E 7BT from 1 June to 15 August 2017. Entrance is free.

Last Updated 26 May 2017