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City Hall of Greater London

Part 2 Project 1999
Simon Haycock
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), UK
The project proposes powers for the new Mayor of London by geographic juxtaposition of the role of the Mayor and existing national government in Whitehall. Examining the city as a living organism I have endeavoured to capture the dynamic of light that already exists in Whitehall and results from the active occupation by people, vehicles and buildings.

By harvesting and transforming the waste light the intention is to use the visual connections between existing spaces to convey the spatial relationships that we as individuals already create and distort as we occupy the existing urban fabric.

The mayor would then use these series of fragments of intertwined spaces and the resulting choreography between them to visually and experientially create a dialectic representation of his policies.

By using light as an instigator of space, visual and spatial relationships across the city can be perceptually deconstructed and reconstructed allowing their interpretation to be prescriptive, ambiguous and ultimately continually changing.

The actual use of light in the representation and manifestation of the project allowed me to explore my own understanding of the medium and the potential implications beyond or existing utilisation of light as a building block of architecture and creator of space.

The overlaying of these visual events, created by light, onto the existing fabric of the city forces a reinterpretation of our own relationships within the built, populated and political environment of London.

Simon Haycock

Interested in the relationship between a political programme and a speculative architecture, Simon Haycock proposes additional powers for the new Mayor of London and designs the architecture in which they are to be explored and transformed. His project for the City Hall of Greater London clings to four sites in Whitehall, to explore the inter-relationship of national and local governments. Each fragment of his project, a City Hall as Sewage Farm, harvests a particular type of unused or waste light from a government building or space in Whitehall. The relationship between light and its source forms a clever political allegory of lively ghosts and sleeping bodies. Architectural drawings normally have little of the characteristics of the space they describe. In contrast, Simon uses photograms and light installations with great precision, to both generate and represent the ethereal temporality and luminosity of his architecture, which is made of light, and remakes itself from light.

• Page Hits: 1501         • Entry Date: 08 January 1999         • Last Update: 10 May 2001