Next to this 60's public housing development is Caledonian Park Clock Tower. Set back from the main road, the white clock tower seems to control the time and lives of everyone who surround it. It is a slim, large and elegant type of construction designed by J.B Banning in 1855. It was opened by Prince Albert with the intention of trading over 15.000 animals a day. It is also known as Metropolitan Cattle Market Tower and is all that is left of one of London's largest livestock markets which operated until it was flattered by aerial bombing in 1940 during World War 2.
Our studio, in collaboration with Richard Claridge, current historic buildings consultant and also a fellow RCA alumni have submitted an inspiring proposal with the intention of getting involve with such of fascinating project.
Loosely inspired by Plato’s Allegory of Cavern where references of people is played out in a transient narrative of shadow, our proposal aims to investigate the architectural patterns between existing and proposed Market Estate in the form of artificial or natural day light and shadow. We enjoy the way that fixtures and fittings, products and personal items are left abandoned in corridors and staircases – places which are transient by nature and therefore reflect the space between private and public, destination and arrival - as ghostly memories of former inhabitants: a slow erosion whereby the place takes on a new life and offers visitors a new and poetic inside to and otherwise forlorn space.
In our work we want to imagine a group of individuals who have lived their lives in happy and sad; positive and sometimes reflective or negative states of mind, perhaps lonely at times with the comfort that they can afford: comfort in the form of their possessions which over the course of the departure from the building have been discarded through neglect or want, all that is left is the rhythms of the past and the ephemeral decay that is its future. However the beauty of the work and the free spirited form of the discarded object is achieved with shadow as its next life, similar to how in Plato the observer is released of their chains through the metaphor of darkness over light.
We propose a series of installations fixed to the ceiling, wall or floor in corridors, landings, staircases and stairwells. The work will take the form of existing architectural fixtures and fittings, or installed pieces that refer to where original fixtures and fittings were once housed but have been removed (eg: light bulbs and electric fittings, fire prevention equipment including hose, bell and extinguisher, balustrades, occupant doors & windows and related furniture including door numbers. These and other fixtures and fittings will be presented with the aid of both electric and natural daylight, the effect will be shadows and play of light on adjacent surfaces
The work will be presented in such a way to encouraged audience participation, not necessarily to encourage tactile investigations but exhibition of objects seen at different positions, angles, heights and light qualities. Although we envisage each installation to be presented unframed as scale 1:1 pieces in addition we imagine a series of secondary works that illustrate in architectural scale diagrammatic explanations that for instance take the form or aesthetic of an electric diagram.
The objectives of our installations are for former residents and strangers alike to look at every day objects in a different light - literally and metaphorically – to react and examine otherwise discarded remnants of the Market Estate.