Harry Ortmans

Toot, Root, Moot

Toot Root Moot is designed for the public. It is a large plaza with three main structures, amongst a screened labyrinth. The first structure will be the Toot Tower, at 15m tall it will just peek over the Coatsworth Road roofline and act as the signaling beacon, with different signals able to gather different groups.

These different groups will be able to come and use the second structure, the Moot Hall, a covered amphitheater that will be accessible all year round. Different local committees can come and use the space and address local issues, the size of the groups will vary and this will coincide with the frequency of which they will meet.

The third structure is the Moot Root, a smaller meeting space, for smaller groups to have a more intimate conversation. Enclosed but with an open circular roof that will feel enclosed from the hustle and bustle around and protected from the elements.

When not in use, these spaces can be open to the public to come and use the space, somewhere to come to sit and eat your lunch, somewhere to meet your friends, somewhere to take a phone call, somewhere to talk, to listen, to play.

Reaching all around the site will be an overhead network of pipes that have a speaker cone at either end, you’ll be able to talk into them and someone else, somewhere else, will be able to hear your voice. Without being able to see who you’re speaking to, will encourage a more natural interaction with a stranger, without preconceptions.

These networks will follow the final element of the project, the Root. A labyrinth of walls, planters, screens and climbers providing a route and directing people around the site, boundaries that will disappear the more you visit. Taller, curving, leaning walls will offer a completely different experience when talking, echoing your voice down the path. The long curving sections act as meeting spaces in themselves. You’ll be able to access the site from all angles, North through Sedgewick Place, East and South from Bewick Road and West from Coatsworth Road through two existing unused shop fronts. The hole through one will provide a framed view of the site and entice those who wouldn’t have been aware of the space. The other shop front will act as secondary access up the Toot Tower and will be able to be closed off to the public at night.