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The Wall of Walworth

Part 1 Project 2015
Samuel Clayton
University of Cambridge, UK
The Wall of Walworth explores the politicisation of construction.

Creating a town hall is inherently a political act especially in an area as charged as Walworth. The demolition of the Haygate Estate, a social housing complex in Southwark, continues the trend of London’s wave of redevelopment and gentrification. Many of the Haygate’s evicted residents have been forced out of London by rising rent prices and welfare cuts.

The old town hall was destroyed by fire in 2013 sparking an opportunity to find space to serve the community the new Haygate development has pushed to the side-lines. Reclaiming and reinterpreting material both from the Haygate and the existing Victorian building allows Walworth to give voice back to the voiceless. The Wall challenges hierarchical space in government buildings asserting that any space can and should be a place for debate.

The ‘wall’ is articulated as a network of pocket spaces around and within which the life of the town hall resides. The wall encourages interaction through circulation, rather than acting as a barrier. Construction stretches the potential of rammed concrete, a material that reuses the aggregate of the destroyed Haygate and the process of which, becomes an act of community itself.

Samuel Clayton


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