Spruce Almighty

A re­pur­posed petrol sta­tion shows even an eye-sore should be given a se­cond chance

Bespoke - - WHOA! -

White City is a district in the Lon­don Bor­ough of Ham­mer­smith & Ful­ham that has be­come best known for the West­field Mall and Loftus Road sta­dium. Once upon a time how­ever, it was also a thriv­ing busi­ness hub and home to the sprawl­ing head­quar­ters of the BBC. But, when the broad­cast­ing agency ul­ti­mately frag­mented in 2013 – hav­ing de­cided to stop mak­ing pro­grammes and move out of its HQ – the bor­ough stepped in, putting to­gether an am­bi­tious re­gen­er­a­tion plan that should see the area trans­form over the next decade into a de­sir­able neigh­bour­hood. The plan in­cludes the con­struc­tion of over 5,000 new homes, green spa­ces, an Im­pe­rial Col­lege uni­ver­sity cam­pus, of­fice space and a branch of Soho House, as well as an ex­pan­sion of the cur­rent West­field site to in­clude a much re­quested John Lewis de­part­ment store. Yet, some fa­cil­i­ties that were once vi­tal to the BBC have re­mained aban­doned. Craig & Karl, an artis­tic part­ner­ship that bridges New York and Lon­don, saw one such site – a derelict petrol sta­tion – as an op­por­tu­nity for an art in­stal­la­tion. “We view this project as the petrol sta­tion’s se­cond life, or ‘won­der years’, which led us to use the words ‘Here Af­ter’ as a ref­er­ence to heaven or Utopia,” ex­plain Craig Red­man and Karl Maier. “Now that the petrol sta­tion has ful­filled its duty, so to speak, it’s free to en­joy it­self.” That ‘en­joy­ment’ will be play­ing host to pop-up events.

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