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Forgotten Spaces 2011 shortlisted: Fagin’s Den by Geraldine Ng, Liksan Chan and Dean Walker

[Southwark] Fagin’s Den, St Saviour’s Dock, dams the Thames inlet to form an amphitheatre and beach

As the City of London builds upwards, Fagin’s Den builds down into the forgotten space of St Saviour’s Dock providing a new public aperture. The dock is drained and partially excavated of silt. Corn sacks that once continually dangled from the warehouse cranes are filled with the silt and imported sand. Each is laid in a stepped seating arrangement, damming the Thames inlet whilst continuing to form the public arenas. The fertile sand bags flourish with flora and fauna, bringing a new wildlife habitat to a space once plagued with filth.

The Dock Head opens up to an urban beach.

The Dock Head opens up to an urban beach. Follow the backstage ‘subterranean’ tunnel to the amphitheatres and take a seat for a public performance. An elegant canopy is stretched over the space, reviving the history of the forgotten River Neckinger. By night, the canvas is illuminated with projection. Lie back on the sandy beach and enjoy a screening.

 

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