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Sam Pywell — Hackney Centre of Change


Graduation year — 2022

Email — samuel.pywell@the-LSA.org

Instagram — @sam.pywell

Tutors — Hannah Lawson & Maurizio Mucciola

Location — Clapton Bus Garage, London Borough of Hackney

Size — 5,500sqm



Over the next century London will need to undergo rapid change to respond to the urgent demands of our times.  These changes affect all of us and currently our city-making process is not suited to coordinate systematic change on this scale.

My proposal is to create a centre for expertise in city-making to facilitate an acceleration of the response to these challenges through fostering active citizen participation and inspiring innovation in the built environment.



Hackney needs to retrofit 92,000 homes to net-zero standards in just 19 years to meet its climate targets. Therefore, in order to respond to the urgent demands of the climate crisis, the first challenge this proposal will seek to address is the retrofit of Hackney’s existing homes.



An Urban Room will negotiate solutions and generate citizen interest in retrofit in order to foster a collective action amongst citizens. This will address a new public square in the historic centre of Hackney to maximise citizen interest.

Then, spaces will be provided for the coordination of the response, with a retrofit coordinator appointed by the council to assemble a team of city makers to work in residence to design solutions in collaboration with citizens.

Finally, an Urban Laboratory will be housed in the existing bus garage and will manufacture prefabricated retrofit components to accelerate the city’s response.



This proposal seeks to fundamentally reinvent the purpose of our civic institutions to radically reshape the process of city-making so that it can respond proactively to the city’s challenges.