The RCA Society with AND Association is continuing its discussions on London’s built environment and participating in the London Festival of Architecture which takes place during June 2017.
London is a city of myriad layers, each infused with memory: of people, buildings, places and experiences. London’s built environment, with memories bound up within it, is fundamental to how people experience the city, and the starting point from which architects, developers and communities can address change. London’s built memories are never far from its present – living on in old place names, the City of London’s medieval street pattern, or London’s rich architectural heritage. Memory is fundamental to a sense of place: something that communities cherish in the face of change, and a tool for architects and developers as they achieve change and place further layers of activity and memory on top of all the others.
East side of Tower Bridge (City of London) or Dockland areas attracted diverse groups of people from across the world for social, economical, political (including religious) reasons. Contemporary issues around migration reflects much of this social change. The socio economic shifts of production and links to Britain’s colonies demanded new forms of transportation for the shipment and distribution of goods. The building of Docks, Railways, warehouses and small workshops formed an integrated solution. The ‘Blitz’ of WWII, took its toll on the area. Subsequent changes impacted on the warehouses and docks along the Thames; Wapping, Stepney, St Katharines, London Docks, Shadwell Basin and Limehouse Basin and major sites in the Isle of Dogs closed. Railway viaducts linking the Thames’ docklands also lost their function.
Our month long event will continue the discussions and debates from our input into last year’s LFA – the correlation between natural and man-made disasters.
Running parallel to the continual rebuilding of London we will also look at the increasing number of natural disasters which are destroying towns, cities, forests and land masses throughout the world – many of which are linked to changing weather conditions caused by ‘global warming’. Major events such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan which invaded the Port of Sendai will be given special focus with a screening of a specially edited video which was recorded along Route 45 in Iwate Prefecture.