Toynbee Street

31 Dec 2009

Yesterday I took these photos of derelict buildings along Toynbee Street (in Tower Hamlets, London). I popped into the pub opposite to see if I could find out anything about these buildings and apparently the council wants 10 million pounds for that site in the first photo, but no one is willing to pay that much. It's a very touchy issue for the locals! I did a quick online search, and found that it was built after the war because the original tall building was bombed. That explains the patchwork of bricks - they probably just used what ever they could find. I love the third photo where the insulation is coming out of the wall. There are just so many textures.

I've been considering using this site for my university project but I'm slightly daunted: I think the design would need to be a totally new building as the existing structure is crumbling and was only ever intended to be temporary. Does this count as interior and spatial design? Isn't it more like architecture? Last year my tutor told me that as long as you can make a physical model of it, then it's possible to build (we don't need to get into the nitty gritty of the construction details like foundations/supporting structures, it's more about the concept).. but I still feel nervous about this site. I think I would be more comfortable with a smaller project, but maybe it's best to do something totally new and a bit scary. This is my Masters and I'll probably never have an opportunity like this again where I can do something so exciting. I need to make up my mind soon and get some work done before term starts next week!


Anonymous said...

I am _loving_ these images ~ I feel we are on the same page, I've always thought there is such beauty in gritty, urban scenes, I often scout it out, but have yet to capture it so beautifully as you have done.

Happy New Year doll ~
cara @ City Girl Chicago

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

Rebecca Happy New Year!
keep us updated about your project! All the best! I'm sure anything you decide to do will be amazing! Good luck! xx

Anonymous said...

I have only just seen your blog after looking up info on the row of shops in your pics. There are plans afoot to redevelop the site (see the Tower Hamlets website) and the proposed development will see all shops demolished bar the one in your first pic. I wonder what the story is with that building?

In the late 90's, the new yellow brick building next door had yet to be built. It was empty land, fenced off. It looked to me like the area had been fenced off after the bombed building had been cleared away. There were remnants of the old building left behind.

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