A406 project

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I’ve been taking some pictures of my favourite bridge over the A406. There is something particularly brilliant about this one near the Walthamstow dog track. I’ve got a bit of a thing for concrete structures like this. Perhaps road bridges and multi-storey car parks are Britain’s only real successful modernist legacy. The great post-war high density housing experiment is over (Lynsey Hanley writes very well on the subject in her book Estates) and all that’s left are these elevated walkways for the inferior pedestrian, and spiral exit routes for cars. Even Gateshead’s multi-storey made famous in the film Get Carter was demolished in 2010.

This bridge is vast, at this point spanning six lanes of the North Circular Road plus slip roads. Pedestrians must climb sloping ramps of quite some distance before reaching the top. I want to rebuild this bridge somewhere rural – probably in an area of outstanding natural beauty. There would be no reason to use the bridge in this area other than to get a view and to admire its Brutalist functionality and fine concrete. In this rural setting its vastness and modernity would be heightened. Rather than offering pedestrians a circuitous route between home and Sainsbury’s, and with no cars in sight, this would be a spectacle celebrating modernism, the simplicity of materials and potentially give the walker a new perspective on both urban and rural landscape. If anyone fancies commissioning this please don’t hesitate to contact me!


About sophiebbarr

I am an artist and a teacher in higher education. For me art is a re-organisation of stuff that's already in the world.
This entry was posted in art work, Concrete stuff, Musings, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A406 project

  1. Sophie, I wish you could come and see Sao Paulo, looking out across this urban landscape is constantly amazing. The view from my roof is stunning, the city goes on forever in an endless sea of high rise concrete. The most spectacular is when you see the tropical storm rolling in across the sky and then attacking with it’s natural electricity, it’s always frightening, invigorating and beautiful.

    • sophiebbarr says:

      Me too Loose man. I would love to see it. I’ve been really enjoying your thoughtful and generous blog. It’s great to do writing for a reader rather than something personal that never sees the light of day. I’m so happy you are having such a life changing experience. Was in Brighton on Sunday – saw Marcus for the first time in years and I think he was WELL! I think he might have been the most well and not trashed I have ever seen him. Perhaps being nearly 40 has helped. Hope to read more soon. XXXX

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