20 Jun Demolition of Heygate Estate, Southwark
‘The Rise and Fall of the Council House’ was an interesting programme on the BBC last week which centred on the Heygate Estate, near the Elephant and Castle, Southwark. The Heygate Estate originally provided more than 3000 homes for people which was built in the 1970’s. Unfortunately it wasn’t too long before the Heygate Estate turned into ‘Muggers’ paradise’ as reported by the BBC. Back in the 1970’s, which doesn’t seem that long ago, these tower blocks were seen as futuristic buildings.
Residents started moving out in 2008 but demolition started a couple of months ago by specialist contractor, Cantillon. I was commissioned to photograph this construction work at the Rodney Road Phase.
Cantillon are specialists in the field of demolition. Indeed this afternoon I have to go again to the Tate Modern, another major redevelopment involving Cantillon. Other construction photographs show the careful monitoring of noise and dust produced to ensure that levels stay within specified limits by Southwark Council and their clients here, Lend Lease.
Specific areas of interest to be covered by the construction photography on site were, asbestos removal, tree protection, footbridge removal, sub station protection and client liaison with Lend Lease.
The entire Estate is to be demolished within a year to make way for a £1.5 billion regeneration of this part of the Elephant & Castle. Interestingly The Heygate Estate formed the backdrop for the Michael Caine film in 2009 called Harry Brown.
Many thanks to David Strzelecki, the site manager for Cantillon, for looking after me whilst on site. He didn’t let me get too close and I don’t think he knew he would be included in the 360 degree virtual tour below!!