Exhibition: 25.06.2013 – 05.07.2013
Unit 6 - City Pockets
Stairway to Heaven by Joe Davis
Unit led by Maurice Mitchell & Francesca Pont
About the show
At the scale of the city, railways connect the centre of London to vast swathes of suburbia, cutting through the inner city. These high level rail tracks, brick viaducts, tunnels and stations crisscross the south London landscape creating interesting spatial opportunities in, on and between them. They offer opportunities for odd and particular businesses and services to take root in the resulting spatial dislocation. They expanded from their beginnings in the 1860s and were in their heyday in the 1930s and 40s. Towards the end of the 20th century many of them became redundant leaving a trail of sealed linear wilderness and teaming wildlife corridors high above gardens, yards and parks. In recent years some of these railways have been reinvigorated whilst some still remain abandoned.
Unit 6 has investigated the topography of the city across which railways navigate from Brixton to Surrey Quays via Peckham and Loughborough Junction reveling in the rich cultural diversity of the areas through which they pass and the social and technical initiatives to which they offer protection.
Using the site as their primary cultural and physical resource student projects have been seeded within the interstices under and along the railway edges and within pockets of land embedded within their intertwining networks. Students have responded spatially to the particular physical environment that bounds them, reacting to the local economic and political climate, and engaging with the people who inhabit and use the landscape.
Preliminary live project work to build a shelter in cleared communal back gardens from local materials, preliminary project, Isle of Dogs.
Collaged view of new pocket lands opened up between the railway viaducts in Peckham for a programme of food fusion
Line drawing of central Brixton transformed as an embodied experience after investigation.
Preliminary section, South Bermondsey self build pocket
Photograph of a timber and card model of the pockets of land in and around the Overground railway in Peckham.
Sectional Perspective through Hall, Hostel and Housing for a railway community in South Bermondsey.
Line drawing of the sinuous railway backlands from Brixton to Loughborough Junction.
Collage showing unemployed school leavers building new homes within the existing redundant car park in Peckham.
Expanded stables and paddock beneath the railway arches at Loughborough Junction.
Reinvigorated cellarium beneath an existing redundant reinforced concrete table podium sandwiched between viaducts adjacent to Brixton Village.
Map of South Bermondsey which incorporate a multitude of churches feeding the homeless within the plethora of industrial sheds.
Sectional Perspective of railway viaducts, South Bermondsey.
Collage of sketches recording site conditions, preliminary project, Isle of Dogs.
Coloured map of Peckham Rye and the related land pockets one layer back from the High Street
Sketch of a series of places beneath the viaducts, Brixton
Perspective section through new Library bridging over the railway with a view to open northern green lands beyond.
Survey drawing of long thin shop under the redundant car park between the lines, Brixton
Survey sketch of homeless drop in centre, Deptford.
Sketch of narrow Peckham pocket looking skywards.