The Heatherwick studio was commissioned by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – known for their commitment to improving the public realm – to design kiosks for selling newspapers. The use of the internet as a source of daily news and the rise of supermarkets has had a negative impact on street vendors. The Royal Borough not only wanted to improve the physical public realm, but also recognised the need to protect this important aspect of city life.
The existing box-like newspaper stands, with flat surfaces and roller shutters, not only attract vandalism, but are also inanimate and unattractive when closed up at night.
To address these problems Paperhouse has a distinctive profile derived from a more ergonomic stepped, magazine shelving arrangement. Instead of roller shutters it opens by rotating the front sections around the main body, ready for immediate use.
Manufactured in London, the frame is steel, lined with wood on the inside and patinated brass on the exterior – materials which have warmth and resilience. Four kiosks have been made, with the first two in place at Sloane Square and Earls Court.