Engineering a brownfield.
Silvertown’s post industrial landscape has fallen prey to the speculative developers creeping in from the west. Their land acquisitions are continuously growing, leveling anything that was previously on site, and holding the land hostage until it is economically appealing to build.
This process of urban ‘regeneration’ has had a very entropic effect on Silvertown, thinning the urban fabric and swallowing the old boundaries between industrial estates. These boundaries were once the life-lines, the armatures of Silvertown, as it was here where the rail yards which fed the factories were located. The entropic nature of the regeneration is set to persist, as the swathes of fellow land are progressively concreted over by an all-encompassing sameness of bland and sterile housing schemes.
Along one of these old armatures history is going to repeat itself. The Thames industrial estate is set to be cleared and give way to Ballymore Developers’s vision for 1,634 residential units. What if this inevitable wipe-out is seen as a chance to combat the expanding entropy? What if all the obsolete materials and structures on site, become resources to reiterate this boundary and reinvent the armature?
Using the developers own strategy of land banking, a strip of land along the eastern edge of the development will be taken hostage using all the materials from the condemned industrial estate, including the contaminated soils upon which it rests. This landscape of contamination and decay will be engineered in a way that will allow natural process to decompose the contaminants over time, as well as creating a habitat for local flora and fauna from the soon-to-be-built brownfields. As time goes by and contamination levels decrease, areas of this wilderness will be safe to inhabit, eventually creating a public access from factory road to the Thames. Above all this strip of post post-industrial detritus will create a stark contrast within the newly developed area, and become a counter entropic intervention.