Download Project Report
To celebrate the end of a great year for culture, both in the UK and abroad, we’ve decided to share some of our personal highlights. For this, our final entry, we turn our gaze to architecture and discoveries.
Our discoveries this year come from all across the globe.
Starting closer to our London home; Tropics Café at Grow Elephant. One of the most refreshing and uncanny venues you’ll find in Zone 1 today, the half container half winter garden structure stands in the middle of a ‘mobile garden’ of 80 portable boxes. Here, community members can grow their own vegetables, as well as partaking in regular cultural events and workshops, including movie screenings and live music. The café’s revenue help support their ongoing activities supporting the local community.
In October, we were fortunate to be invited to watch the Batsheva Dance Company’s Deca Dance perform at their newly opened International Dance Centre. Located in the Hongqiao district of Shanghai, this new venue houses four dance organisations, including our recent working partner the Shanghai Theatre Academy’s two dance schools. The Batsheva Dance Company’s performance was simply stunning, where one song performers invited audiences to be their dance partners.
Zeche Zollverein is a former coal mine in Essen, Germany, built in the 1930s and once described as the most beautiful mine in the world. After closing down in the 90s, it has since become a re-purposed heritage site. Despite a BOP’er growing up nearby, she had never been before and was truly impressed at the scale, attractiveness and visionary regeneration of the site. It is now home not only to a park in which the old mining buildings sit almost like pieces of contemporary art, it also houses a fascinating museum on the history of the Ruhrgebiet and a design museum, several restaurants/cafes, and acts as event location and concert venue.
Our final discovery this year is a book; Olive Schreiner’s ‘The Story of an African Farm’. First published in 1883, this book ‘catapulted colonial literature into the international arena’. A story about a South African settler family, it contains long philosophical musings and dialogues by the protagonists, illustrating a fairly risqué storyline for the time - whole chapters setting social critiques of religion and the position of women in society.
Covering a former market in the working class neighbourhood of Alfalfa in Sevilla stands Setas. This was a project dogged by major cost overruns and delays, stemming variously from an initial design that was so innovative it was declared unbuildable, as well as more unfortunate unforeseen complications, as the discovery of significant Roman remains beneath. Finally opened in 2011, it attracted over 1 million visitors in its first year. While its creation and execution was by no means exemplary, the end result is a genuinely crowd-pleasing, iconic piece of elegant and playful architecture that offers wonderful views over the city and has become a firm favourite of both residents and tourists alike; a hard task to pull off.
A final mention went to Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum. Designed by Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki and opened in 2014, this museum houses a collection of Islamic art and heritage, including artefacts from the private collection of the current Aga Khan. The interior offers a beautiful balance of clean minimalism and elaborate geometric patterns, while the exterior is a stark white façade that leaps out among its suburban environment, providing a great contrast to the dark reflecting ponds in front.
BOP’s Best of 2016: Architecture & Discoveries
Our picks from the last 12 months
Dec 21, 2016
A global research and consulting practice for culture and the creative economy
Nov 4, 2021
How are major cities around the world responding to climate change through cultural policies and programmes?
The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability
Apr 22, 2021
5 Priorities for World Cities in the post-covid recovery period
Culture and the Climate Emergency
Dec 4, 2020
Culture can play an important role in recovery and renewal across the UK, if the right local decision-making is put in place
Culture and the Recovery: Levelling Up Culture?
Sep 23, 2020
This focused, coordinated set of measures can not only rescue the sector, but position it to lead the recovery
Central London’s celebrated cultural offer is in peril
Aug 21, 2020
Three big questions as applications close for Arts Council England’s Cultural Recovery Fund
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #3
Jul 30, 2020
The UK’s £1.57 billion recovery package: priorities for a New Deal
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #2
Jul 20, 2020
Cities are using their unique capabilities to lead recovery and renewal
COVID-19: Cities, Culture and the 3 ‘P’s: powers, partnerships, place
Jul 7, 2020
Investing in recovery, planning for transformation
COVID-19: Government support packages for culture and creative industries #1
Jun 30, 2020
Recovery and renewal will depend on how we address the three dimensions of the crisis
COVID-19 is a triple blow to culture and the creative industries
Jun 3, 2020
In the face of radical uncertainty leaders and policy-makers will have to take planning and collaboration to whole a new level
‘Plans are useless, planning is essential’
May 13, 2020
Nobody knows what will happen next, but we have a good idea of the three necessary steps out of the crisis
Relief, Recovery and Renewal: navigating our way to a new kind of future