The Universal Toy Factory by Anam Hasan - University of Westminster Studio 17
Vimeo The Universal Toy Factory: https://vimeo.com/69558039
The project seeks to reinvigorate industry in Hackney Wick, East London, given the decline of light industry in the area in the last 10 years, which has been due to several factors such as; the nearby Olympic Park development, increasing rents and a great influx of artists moving into the area. In 2008 the controversial demolition of the Lesney matchbox toy factory, which was once the largest employer of Hackney Wick residents was demolished and replaced by a residential building. The proposal attempts to revive the production of toys, by creating a factory that is based on simple toy systems such as Bristle blocks, Meccano, Connect 4, K’nex which assemble together to form the smallest fixings up to large facade panels. These components are assembled by crane, scissor lifts and by hand to form the factory, which in turn produces, toys, furniture and building components based on the toy systems. The building consists of a production area, and offices, designed to a more fixed form, and a shop tower and testing yard space which are more flexible and showcase what is manufactured inside the factory. Ultimately, the proposal endeavours to reinstate a part of Hackney Wick’s distinctive industrial heritage and boost the local economy as well as provide locals with jobs. The scheme also attempts to boost economic growth on a national level, given that in the UK Government’s ‘Plan for Growth 2012’ document it states that Britain’s manufacturing sector has halved as share of its economy and 50% of all manufacturing jobs have been lost.