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We’ve launched our CIRCuIT citizen engagement portal prototype!

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

In the CIRCuIT project, we get excited about discovering innovative circular economy approaches in buildings. In London, 54% of waste is generated by the built environment, but implementing circular construction techniques can help reduce waste, keep resources in use and support the transition to a low carbon economy.

London is home to many excellent projects which have implemented innovative approaches, from buildings that can be taken apart and reassembled to transformed spaces that are built with reclaimed materials. However, these innovations can often be invisible to passersby and even unknown to local communities and residents, who are missing out on the exciting ways our city is becoming regenerative.

For that reason, CIRCuIT partner Grimshaw Architects, working with other CIRCuIT partners (ReLondon, HSY, CPH, FHH), has developed an augmented reality app that brings buildings to life on mobile devices, highlighting their innovative circular features so we can all learn more about the buildings around us. And, as part of the London Festival of Architecture, we’d like to invite you to try out the prototype and give us your thoughts.

Hackney Depot

The first version of the app showcases Hackney Depot, a revived building on top of an operating bus garage that has been transformed into a light industrial space for use by makers, designers and artists.

The refurbishment was done by 6AM Development, who approached the project with a mantra to retain as much of the original building and materials as possible - the most impactful and beneficial strategy in the clean construction hierarchy. This prevented the demolition of the building and reduced waste, through keeping as much of the original fittings and structure as possible. In addition, the beautiful transformed space retains interesting features from its previous use, preserving a sense of history.

Using the app

Step 1

If you’re on your phone or tablet, visit this link to launch the app in your browser (Safari or Google Chrome): If you’re using another device without a camera (for example on a desktop), scan the QR code below with your mobile:

Step 2

Click ‘Launch’ on the Zappar app. Wait for the app to ‘unlock’ the model (you may need to give permission for the app to access your camera). A wifi connection would allow the object to load more quickly.

Step 3

Tap on the screen to place the ‘building’ on a surface - we recommend placing the object on a flat surface such as the floor or a desk. You can move your device around to see how that changes your view of the building.

Tip: you can replace the object by tapping on the icon on the top left.

A screen with instructions on how to use the app will appear:

Click on the screen again and the instructions will disappear so you can interact with the building.

Step 4

You can then tap on the location pins and numbers to visit each part of the building and view images and discover interesting information about the circular aspects of the building. Start from 1 - Reception and follow the numbers until 10.

Step 5

After opening each location, to go back to the building, press the back icon on the top left hand corner.

Step 6

After you’ve finished exploring, we would love to hear your feedback on what you found most interesting and how we can improve the app for use on other buildings. You can fill in this form by clicking on the Feedback link in the top right hand corner or visiting this link.

Thanks for trying this out! We will be rolling out the app in Copenhagen, Hamburg and Helsinki region over the coming months. Please report any bugs or issues in the feedback form. For other questions, please contact

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