Chamber’s Wharf SE16 Demolition

Chamber’s Wharf SE16 Demolition

Photography of the demolition of Chamber’s Wharf, London SE16

Demolition has just commenced at Chamber’s Wharf, SE16 to make way for a state of the art £200 million development by St. Martins on the banks of the River Thames. The demolition is being undertaken by award winning demolition contractor, Cantillon and this is one of a number of visits to capture photographic images of their work on site.

Chambers Wharf was initially built in the 1930s as a warehouse/cold store for imported meat and other food, and was used for this purpose up until 1980. During the war, the military briefly used it; and there are rumours of bomb shelters underneath going under the Thames. After closure, it was used as a gold bullion store & document store. Interestingly two episodes of The Professionals were also filmed there. A TV series I remember very well, Bodie and Doyle in the seventies!!

Anyway enough of that, the redevelopment consists of 596 homes within six buildings on the four-acre site and aims to achieve a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions and include 13 vertical wind turbines along the river side to generate electricity.

Cantillon have challenging task to demolish the old buildings because they are substantial and more importantly, surrounded by residential housing. They have very sophisticated equipment on site to measure the sound levels of the plant on site and also the dust produced to ensure they remain within the accepted tolerance level. A few of the photos show the sound levels recorded and also the asbestos removal process.

The redevelopment was featured in the Evening Standard on 12th October 2008. Update: I have subsequently undertaken more demolition photography during my second visit to site on 3rd November 2008 and also 360 degree virtual image of Jim at the highest point on the old structure just before it is demolished.

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The weather wasn’t very good but what a fantastic location for the new building and an amazing panoramic view across London.

Technical details for the construction photography
Nikon D3 with 24-70mm lens and 2 SB800 flash guns with CTO 0.5 gels. On occassions like this I try to keep the lens swapping to a minimum. The dust on a construction site play havoc with digital photography and demolition construction photography is ten times worse.