The London Borough of Croydon appointed BDP to design a new Boxpark Marketplace next to East Croydon train station. Boxpark is constructed of stripped and refitted shipping containers and includes 96 units arranged around a covered courtyard space made available for year-round events. The scheme is a modern-day piazza which will become the area’s focal point for people to hang out and enjoy a wild and ever-changing variety of food, drink and free events.
“Shipping containers are an intrinsic component of the Boxpark brand. There’s something quite magical about taking this mundane and ubiquitous object and turning it into something desirable and transformational. We’re using 96 containers in total and only four of them are unaltered. The whole assembly is like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle but the finished result looks deceptively simple. Boxpark Croydon is a place for people. The design comes alive now it’s occupied. It was incredible to see it over the opening weekend, at dusk, with the lights on and the music pumping. Rammed with people all having a brilliant time.” – Gavin Elliott / Architect director at BDP
Boxpark is the world’s first pop-up mall – fusing the concepts of the modern street food market and placing local and global brands side by side, to create a unique shopping and dining destination.
Opened in 2011, Boxpark established itself in the heart of London’s Shoreditch to demonstrate that it was entirely possible to bring dining and fashion back to the street and provide fertile ground for independent and established retailers to reach a large audience in a big and eye-catching way.
Entirely constructed out of refitted shipping containers, Boxpark utilises a unique position in being able to offer affordable and flexible conditions for lifestyle brands, cafes, restaurants and galleries to trade and succeed.
It’s a retail revolution that’s spawned many imitators but no equals. Until now.
“Croydon is one of the last London boroughs to be developed. Stratford, White City and Nine Elms have all seen recent new developments. I want everyone to rethink their view of Croydon. It’s the home of Kate Moss, Tracey Emin, and now Boxpark!” – Roger Wade / Boxpark’s founder and CEO
“For Croydon’s newest eat/drink/play venue we took 96 of these iconic components, modified and adapted them and then stacked them up to three high around a central events space with a simple profiled polycarbonate clad canopy overhead. The concept is straightforward and robust reflecting the linear nature of the containers. It produces a raw industrial aesthetic, a symmetrical geometry of unrivalled parallelism and a pareddown materiality. Much design effort went in to resolving interface details and junctions so that the final piece is perceived as being deceptively simple – a good thing! As a result, Boxpark Croydon is indeed a special place.” – BDP
Boxpark is a company specialising in the ‘pop up mall’. Their strategy is to create a shopping destination on undervalued land using a simple structure of shipping containers. Their first mall in Shoreditch, London and is very successful.
Boxpark Croydon, which is part of the mixed-use Ruskin Square development next to East Croydon station, creates a unique dining experience that focuses on small independent traders.
BDP’s design creates a semi-enclosed market hall – like Covent Garden or La Boqueria in Barcelona – so there is a central focus to the scheme with units arranged around it, as well as outdoor terrace spaces. The change of level between the station entrance and Dingwall Road means people enter from multiple entrances and levels adding spatial interest and animation.
Shipping containers are an intrinsic component of the Boxpark brand. There’s something quite magical about taking this mundane and ubiquitous object and turning it into something desirable and transformational. We used 96 containers in total, four of which are unaltered. The whole assembly is like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle but the finished result looks deceptively simple.
The pared down raw aesthetic of the design integrates into the core Boxpark design language and, with graphic designers Filthy Media and retail designers Brinkworth, a very strong graphic and visual identity is applied rigorously throughout the scheme.
Boxpark will transform the quality of the retail and leisure offer in Croydon and is expected to draw in customers and new businesses from across the region.
“The use of shipping containers is an intrinsic component of the Boxpark brand. We used 96 containers in total and only 4 of them are unaltered. Additionally, we introduced new materials such as the polycarbonate roof supported by a steel roof structure and integrated them into the core Boxpark design language.”
Project name: Boxpark Croydon
Location: 99 George St, London CR0 1LD, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51.375030, -0.093754
Site area: 1876.18 sqm
Project area: 2,622 sqm
Cost/Budget: £2 million
Visit Boxpark Croydon’s Website: here
Client / Owner / Developer: Boxpark
- BDP – 11 Ducie St, Manchester M1 2JB, UK
Interior designer: Brinkworth
Project Management: STACE LLP
Main Contractor: Randall Developments
Steelwork Contractor: TSI Structures
- M&E Engineers: BDP
- Structural Engineers: BDP
- Acoustic Engineers: BDP
- Lighting Design: BDP
- Quantity Surveyor: STACE LLP
- Graphic Design: Filthy Media
Text Description: © Courtesy of BDP, Boxpark
Images: © BDP, Nick Caville