The Thick of It
Exhibition at Tramshed,
Woolwich, South East London
6th of December 2020 - 15th of January 2021
Woolwich is a bit of city that has been slowly changing, developing and growing in a continuous process of cause and effect. The collage of building materials, the mismatch of architectural styles and the strange programmatic junctions are all part of what makes London and it’s many town centers special.
As most of central London has gentrified and become unattainably expensive, the developers target sites for regeneration that are deemed ‘problematic’ and increasingly located on the peripheries of the city. The current model of collaboration between local councils and large developers suffers from an uneven power balance. Before the dust of construction has settled, the political and monetary forces at play, almost always leave behind a generic city fabric that is void of affordable housing and social activities for the existing local communities such as public libraries, youth clubs, markets and pubs.
The above is evident in the redevelopment of the old Woolwich Arsenal, which gained pace in the late 2000’s, when the Crossrail station was announced. There are now two ‘Woolwiches’ - divided by a physical, social and metaphorical wall, behind which one finds new residential towers alongside the old redeveloped Arsenal Buildings. With the Woolwich Arsenal development nearing completion, sites have been set on land to the south of the A206.
To aid the search for an alternative future, Becoming X in collaboration with the ‘Incidental Studio’ 3.2 at Kingston University School of Architecture and Landscape have researched and documented Woolwich as they found it in the Autumn of 2020.
The exhibition showcases the resulting work carried out by the students and curated by Becoming X.
Aiko Almeida de Souza Resende
René Hoff Sandvaag