October 10 2012//
A journey with my camera through the soon to be demolished Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, London.
I visited 6th October and the Heygate Estate was also hosting a number of site-specific artworks as part of the Elephest festival, including Nadia Berri’s eerie and evocative performance piece, the Last Waltz. The estate is a well known site of Brutalist concrete 1970’s architecture that was home to around 3000 people, although the structure is reportedly still sound it is now marked for demolition as part of the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle area.
I was prepared to find a claustrophobic and austere place but was suprised by the number of trees, public space and also a sense of quiet seclusion away from the busy Walworth road outside. Graffiti & wall drawings, Parkour, (now) barricaded walkways, a community gardening project, inside-out furniture and long since discarded possessions all made for a visit steeped with human, and urban history.
- BBC website: MP calls for more affordable flats on estate
- Heygate Estate residents fight compulsory purchase order
- A blog about Regeneration and Gentrification in Southwark, South London: Southwark Notes – whose regeneration?
- Wikipedia: History of the Heygate estate