Contact Us

Inner-City, Multi-Storey, Mixed-Use Smart Sheds Could Be A Thing

Scott Brownrigg's smart shed

Buildings that combine urban logistics with other uses are increasingly cited as a way of utilising scarce land in and around big cities. But how that works in practice is another matter entirely.

Typically it has not been seen as possible to combine historically dirty, noisy industrial and logistics with other uses, particularly residential. But as technology advances and the nature of what happens in industrial property alters, that could change.

Architecture firm Scott Brownrigg has drawn up plans for what it calls a "smart shed", which combines a multitude of uses including logistics deliveries with drone ports, retail, coworking, data storage, e-commerce collection and 3D manufacturing (it does not include residential in this instance).

The potenial different uses in a smart shed.

Crucial to the design is that it is multi-storey, meaning a more efficient use of land. Multi-storey logistics is common in Asia and becoming increasingly prevalent in the U.S. and U.K.

“Re-establishing industry in the city will introduce the overriding concern of business i.e. the optimisation of time spent at any given stage in a process,” Scott Brownrigg said. “The increasing automation of creative activity, and the organisation and movement of products, will dictate the configuration and adaptation of buildings and infrastructure.

“Personal interaction, openness, sharing ideas and problem solving remain important in the new economy. Therefore the ability to combine a range of work, logistical and social uses from the basement up, will increasingly be key in attracting and retaining skilled workers and entrepreneurs.”