So. Farewell Then Southwark . . .

June 5, 2009

To my great regret my company is relocating from Southwark to Oxford Circus. There are numerous things I will miss about Southwark (and one or two I wont miss!). So I thought I would make a few posts saying what I love about this wonderful part of town.

Southwark, or perhaps more specifically SE1, has become one of the most vibrant and exciting parts of London. Arguably SE1 is now the cultural capital of our city, with more high quality and independent theatres, art galleries, music and rehearsal studios, and architects pratices than almost anywhere else. Combine this with the fact that this is a part of London where people actually live (not diplomats, millionaires, or visitors but real Londoners!), and you can see the potential.

Things I Will Miss 1:

The architectual mix: streetscapes are important to me, and I like variety. Within 500m of my office there is incredible variety including large modern office developments, thriving street markets, social housing, former industrial buildings, victorian streets, and in fill developments of architect designed housing or small offices. At times the mix is bizarre, reflecting the ups and downs this part of London has experienced.  As recently as the 1980s two story houses were built in the area, reflecting the low value of land. Yet right alongside these houses you can now find massive office developments or expensive loft apartments.

SE1 001

Things I Will Not Miss 1: The Palestra!

I have nothing against Will Alsop’s architecture, although he can do much better than this! No, what I and most locals HATE is the wind tunnel along Union Street that this building has created. Its horrible. How did they get away with it?

What do you love or hate about SE1?


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