Carlin Fier and Sally Saadeh on heritage
Our Director of Fundraising and Development, Suzie Haworth, sat down with Archaeology Ambassadors, Sally Saadeh, Director of Marketing and Communication at Oxford Properties Group and Carlin Fier, Marketing and Public Relations, Brookfield Office Properties Europe. She asked them what heritage means to their organisations and how it fits into their sustainable business strategies. Here's what they said:
What in particular draws Brookfield and Oxford Properties to heritage and archaeology as a way of demonstrating your commitment to sustainable business?
Carlin: Both of our businesses are committed to London as a global city. Heritage is often a feature of development in the City of London and informs the approach to design and construction on many sites. This is very much the case at London Wall Place (LWP), a joint venture development between Brookfield and Oxford Properties. At LWP, archaeology and on-site heritage structures have become features within the significant acre of public realm and the historical ruins have also inspired much of the materials chosen for the building facades.
Sally: The public realm at London Wall Place has been designed to highlight the historic remains of St. Alphage Tower and the Roman City Wall. We felt that it is important to share this history with the local community through a series of promotional and educational programs offered by MOLA. Our sponsorship of the Time Truck will allow us to educate communities, investors and tenants about the importance of this built heritage and the archaeology discovered by MOLA.
What elements of heritage and archaeology do you think most speak to your community stakeholders, and potential occupiers?
Sally: At LWP our philosophy is to highlight these centuries’ old structures, including St Alphage Tower and the Roman City Wall, so they can inform passers-by of the rich historical narrative of the site. These extraordinary remains provide a focus for the gardens at the heart of the development. Nearby residents, local occupiers and future tenants have shown enthusiasm for the forthcoming amenity and support in highlighting the City’s heritage assets. From a business perspective, LWP’s unique heritage has the advantage of offering a very attractive proposition that compliments a strong sense of place, which connects existing communities and incoming tenants.
Carlin: Brookfield are well known for their arts and events programme, which hosts over 400 events a year globally. LWP provides a unique and historically rich open space with tranquil gardens, water features and suspended walkways. It will be an amazing space to activate and hold large scale arts and events programming for both our tenants, local residents and entire the City of London community.
And what about your corporate stakeholders, investors and staff?
Carlin: Both Brookfield and Oxford Properties put placemaking, community and corporate responsibility at the heart of what they do and our corporate stakeholders and investors see this as key to the developments we build and places we create.
Sally: This can be seen at LWP as the public realm will be visited and enjoyed by staff, investors and customers of both businesses. Heritage and archaeology are both key to the placemaking and activation of the LWP site and it is what makes this scheme stand out from so many others.
And personally, what draws you to projects like the Time Truck?
Sally: I have always taken a keen interest in our past, studying history and politics at university, and believe this knowledge is valuable in shaping the future. From a personal perspective, the Time Truck offers an unusual opportunity to bring this passion into the work place, supported by a strong business case, and to introduce an unexpected dimension to the corporate environment.
Carlin: I am also a great lover of history, and considered a career in archaeology. I certainly have the North American fascination with European history and have been fortunate to have many opportunities to explore it, but none so great as visiting MOLA and seeing the artefacts excavated from our sites. As well as promoting such rich and exciting history in our marketing collateral, using the Time Truck allows us to share the centuries of history of the LWP site through educational programming and across the local community in a wider context to hopefully excite and inspire others.
Planning-led archaeology can result in community engagement, positive PR and marketing opportunities but you don't need a major discovery...
Archaeology Ambassadors gather to celebrate the discoveries made through development-led archaeology.