Our sleepy backstreet of Doughty Mews was shaken awake last Friday when we were visited by 70 chattering children from the nearby St George the Martyr Primary School as part of the London Festival of Architecture.
After meeting the team, the children were given masses of big colourful chalks and quickly got down to decorating the street surface under a blue June sky. We gave each front door a colourful patterned doormat, to invite people to come out of their houses and talk to each other more, and filled the rest of the street with crazy fish and long long water-snakes, to celebrate the hidden passage of the River Fleet underneath the street.
It made a happy and memorable afternoon for all of us here as well as the children, and their teachers, parents and friends who came along to help. Reclaiming the street was a chance for the children to think about the city and their place within it and about how architects invent and ‘draw’ new parts of the city.