Ploykan Tanataveetram

‘Looking’ through the Hackney Gas Holder

THIS THESIS PROJECT developed from the Hackney gas- holder complex, one of approximately 20 of these structures across the city. This infrastructure contributes to the identity of the Hackney area, and is an iconic structure locally.

The design demonstrates the use of the original guide frame structure as both an interior and exterior. The proposal also suggests repositioning a smaller gas holder inside its larger equivalent, creating several circular shaped floors, around a central void, on which to site different functions throughout the building.

This thesis explores ideas of looking, visually at interior exhibits and externally at views of London framed by the gasholder structure; but also introspectively, observing the transition of time represented by repurposing the structure for a new era. The design considered a hierarchy of scale, working from the photograph and its production to the urban scale and panorama of the entire city.

The project envisages photographic studios; a gallery to exhibit interchangeable photographic works; and a permanent exhibition presenting the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, who created a photographic record of a wide range of industrial structures, including gas-holders. The proposal also includes panoramas of London: one exhibit created from historic images, and a viewing platform from which to observe the current, ever-changing London.

MORE is a part of Open Studio project run by the School of Architecture + Cities at the University of Westminster to make its design, research and practice-based work available online while it is happening.

University of Westminster is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. Reg no. 977818 England.