A few weeks ago I participated in the NLA Police Box Competition under the Manser Practice. Couple of evenings in and here is the result for your entertainment.
EXISTING POLICE BOX
The Police Box is something of an old historical value, which nowadays only exists in people’s memories. Its form is iconic, yet the existing Police Boxes can no longer provide the level of service and security that a fast-changing environment of London requires. Below is an image of a typical existing Police box:
MY CONCEPT / PROPOSAL
My solution is to take an innovative approach and provide the City of London with not just an updated static Police Box but rather a new Digital Service Point (DSP). Such a station would attract tourists and promote social interactions, provide a mobile check-in point for police officers as well as improve the overall security on the streets. My concept proposal below.
Three key objectives were imperative for this design: to be innovative, interactive and compact. The dimensions of a new Police Box relate back to its historical precedent: the base being 1.5mx1.5m, with height being 2.8m. This was done to ensure that the space is compact yet holds all the necessary police equipment and storage, along with providing enough room to accommodate two police officers for occasional on-site work. Inside the DSP police officers will have access to a number of CCTV cameras to allow them to cover bigger area at all times, a ‘docking station’ in a form of a large built-in touch screen for the ease of use and improved security.
The shape of the Digital Service Point lends itself to having a back side(for a private use) and a front side (for a public interaction). The front open façade holds a large touch screen which allows information to positioned at differing heights, making it accessible to all users. This will be used as a main point of information/contact with Police. The screen is divided into two zones: top zone with a non-interactive screen, where news and essential information will run at all times; and a main zone with an interactive touch screen. The DSP also incorporates a number of built-in single benches to allow for a social interaction, yet which are shaped in the way to deter rough-sleeping.
The Exterior façade of the DSP is proposed to be constructed in a recycled plastic formed in channels, which would create a strong yet lightweight outer envelope for the ease of construction, transportation and improved thermal properties. Having a semi-translucent material would allow for the DSP to be lit-up during at night, as well as when the police officer would be inside the station, for an improved sense of security on the streets.
The colour of the Digital Service Point is strategically divided into 3 sectors. The first sector is the main body of the station – white. This would provide a neutral background for the city and avoid unnecessary obstruction of the streets. Around the touch screen, at the front of the DSP, this section has a blue tint, unconsciously reminding people of the iconic historical Police Box. The back of the Digital Service Point, which has a hidden door, would be covered in a contemporary public art allowing local artists to showcase their works while at the same time attracting attention of the tourists and the wider public to the DSP.