Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

It could be argued that these buildings, all part of the much maligned Heygate Estate, have not been abandoned in a true sense. The tenants and residents have all been forced to leave as part of the Elephant and Castle regeneration. They are gradually being dismantled, and many of those who lived there feel abandoned. The new buildings will include little or no social housing. People used to living less than two miles from the Palace of Westminster have been relocated to the suburbs. There is talk of social cleansing. The much loved trees from the centre, the secret forest, has been cut down.
It is too early to know if what replaces it will be aesthetically more sympathetic. As the recession has bitten deeper and deeper into the regeneration’s planned budgets the celebrated architects, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, are no longer associated with it. We are left with architects no one has ever heard of, and Strata, which won the Carbuncle award in 2010, a blot on the skline I see from my windows. Next to it, the Heygate’s brutalist but clean lines seem almost attractive.


26 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

  1. All part of the gentrification of London. Social cleansing sounds so much more honest, though. Up here we baulk (already) at the TV programmes which mention London prices for just a single-roomed flat. It seems beyond surreal.

    • To be fair, until the coming of the railway and the tube, Walworth and Elephant were fairly well to do palces, though never fashionable. The middle classes moved poiut to eafier suburbs and left the poor in the centre. Now the middle classes want back in, and the poorer classes ahve to pay extortionate rents to live in the centre, or extortionate fares to commute. I don’t know who is going to be cleaning the City’s office blocks in a few years.
      Property prices are daft. Some people just have too much money. How can anyone justify paying £73million for a house?

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  3. this seems to be a universal issue. there was a social housing development, aka ‘The Project’ which was located near Queen Elizabeth Park and close to transit which was given a similar treatment. Most of the people who lived here were relocated before the 2010 Olympic Winter Games began.
    in the last year, the construction on the first of many buildings has begun. the former three-storey buildings which were generously spaced allowing for a lot of green areas and playing fields will be giving way to towers up to fourteen storeys high. there will apparently be some social housing included, however it will take some time before everything is fully developed. not all change is progress.

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