Transitional Attractions

London


This is a photo I took of a fence surrounding building works in King’s Cross, where I live. The old joke about people one day waking up in New York to find that all the builders have finished and gone home will never become true, so construction companies are making areas attractive while they’re in transition.

Surrounding this particular site are stories of the area (Nell Gwynne and Mary Shelley lived there), artworks, maps, photo ops (there’s a giant London Underground Roundel) and several tromp l’oeil effects including a giant hedge and a curving red girder.

What’s notable by its absence is any advertising – and what a difference that makes. Mexico City famously removed all its billboards, and London has cut back on outdoor sites – but with the Olympics approaching, media companies lobbying and this unfortunate government currently in power, how long will the calm last?