Wednesday, 8 June 2011

a field student of orange chairs, grey tables and green lungs.

Field Study's Man in E17 may well have paddled beyond the security of his dilettante shallows when questioning the Archipelago of Truth's, Technomist, about the appeasement of arty greens with the installation of The Table on the Marsh. FSMiE17 hopes his comments do not amount to muddle and twaddle concerning the relationship between art, science and the environment. FSMiE17 respects Technomist for his erudite views, which are rarely if ever as anodyne as the above table and chairs FSMiE17 encountered today at, The Building Centre, Store St, London. Just off Tottenham Court Road, The Building Centre is host to a permanent display by New London Architecture (, Transforming the Boroughs. Although only able to visit briefly he was in awe of the architectural model of London - albeit cut out as it was in an odd glistening puddle like swathe. 

Of course, being a dedicated follower of Walthamstow, E17 and other things Waltham Forest, he tried to find himself. Alas, it appears Walthamstow and environs exists nowhere but in the developmental dark ages, a Stygian hinterland from which the feint cries of some of it's denizens can just about be heard, gasping for strategic breaths of corporate high rise spectacle.   

When the nay sayers and nimby-ites stop fighting the glorious heights, E17ers will be a party to such aspiration as is expressed by Stratford City - a stunning new mega block on the southern horizon.

Field Study's Man is fond of conceptual art and looks forward to the new white cities rising out of the rubble of less visionary minds. New Babylon, this is not.
Transforming the Boroughs provides some succinct insights into the prospects for Waltham Forest, in particular, Walthamstow - site specifically, Blackhorse Lane. The display below states:

'Blackhorse Lane, on the edge of the Lea Valley Park, provides an important gateway to Waltham Forest. Over the next ten years, comprehensive regeneration of the local area will provide over 2000 new homes, a 21st century business area with up to 1000 new jobs, new parks, schools, roads and community facilities. This will create an entirely new neighbourhood centre, with major developments located within walking distance of Blackhorse Road Station and easy access to the Lea Valley and its green leisure amenities'.

All good property developer spin. What if the 2000 new homes come in the form of something like 'Hale Village' - witheringly tweeted (?) by someone as having all the charm of the Gulag. The importance of the Lea Valley shifts (further) from being ecological to one of real estate incentive.

The Lea Valley Federation ( published a map/leaflet to help inform the debates about the development of east London and the Lower Lea Marshes.
In the leaflet analysis it says, 'As London's population continues to grow, the importance of these open spaces becomes more acute. The question is, should the Park provide an amenity resource, as an integrated parkland, with its own unique identity? Or do we allow its continued disintegration, through the development pressures of landowners, and through a lack of vigilance of the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority itself, although the Park Authority is entrusted with safeguarding the Lee Valley as a Regional Park?'
One of the leaflet maps, 'Ownership' shows how the Lower Lea Marshes consists of 10 different territories each belonging to formidable organisations or bureaucracies - Network Rail, Thames Water - amongst them. This indicates the increasingly complex and equally forbidding nature of land ownership and just how difficult it is to understand why and how things happen here, and also affirms Technomist's comment, the territory as a whole, what goes on in and about it, is very sensitive and symbolic. 


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