Thursday, February 26, 2009

Urban Clearway

In 1975, or thereabouts, a Ford Anglia drove into the side of my parent's car. Fortunately no-one was seriously hurt but I have had mixed feelings about them ever since. The picture above - which paints the car in an altogether more charming light - is taken from a collection of photographs of Ford's Dagenham factory on the Guardian website (More here...).

The huge Dagenham works, which were built on reclaimed marshland along the edge of the Thames in the early 1930's, stopped car production in 2002, although lorry engines and gearboxes are still made there. The factory's hinterland consists of swathes of houses built for its former workers which, along the gloomy vastness of the river itself, now form part of the mysterious Thames Gateway regeneration project.

All of which is a long way from the suburban dreams of mobility represented in the photo at the top of this post, or even the heroic industrialism of the one above. Today, even in factories where they are produced, cars accumulate in unsold lots, like the Nissans photographed below in a driver-less traffic jam on the company's test track: a bleakly comic image of entropy.

(Image via)

1 comment:

Loana said...


from a quick overview I can say that I like your blog.

I`m an architect too, in Rio de Janeiro.

I've posted a question on "form follows fiction...".