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  • georgie h

"I can't walk around there anymore, its unrecognisable"

Over the last 12 years Southwark has completely transformed, streets are becoming almost unrecognisable. After a little playing around with Google Maps Street View tool which enables you to see archived versions of street view - going back as far as 2008, I chose to look at one of the key areas of gentrification in the borough: the Bermondsey Spa area which "saw 54 council homes demolished and 205 new homes built. 44 of these were supposed to be at social rents, but were instead let at affordable rents.” (Chapman, 2019)

Image of map outlining masterplan for Bemondsey Spa Regeneration
Bermondsey Spa Masterplan (Southwark Council)

In this visual experiment I started by exploring the central road throughout the regeneration masterplan - Spa Road. Starting from the middle looking at site G, which was previously two of the buildings which made up the Vauban Estate, both previously had a selection of shops underneath the residential areas of the buildings.

In the slideshow above I have taken screenshots from Google's street view in 2008, which shows the one of the Vauban estates boarded up and ready for demolition, with the other's shops still open. These parts of the estate were clearly made to be run down at this point, I say this as the 4 buildings that remain are all still intact.

Above is another slideshow showing the development in this second of the street, representing how unrecognisable it is.

Following this I wanted to create a computer generated panorama to show the differences in the area so used Hugin. However the image came out differently to how I expected it to, almost creating a computationally generated layered image.

These are the outcomes that were created through Hugin, these demonstrated rather haunting imagery particularly with the translucent effect created. The first image is made up of the first slideshow images alone which shows the buildings more clearly, there is also an interesting loop of the road mirroring itself. The second image is a combination of both slideshows images, this in particular feels ghostly through the way that the windows, balcony rails and colours from the Vauban Estate begin to take over the new block of flats.

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