As a part 1 architect student we were asked to develop a collage that depicted our area we had been given to design an architectural masterplan, not one to stick to the rules very often I decided to develop an art installation instead.
I designed an installation that tried to explain that Toxteth, an area given a bad name since the 1980’s riots, still had hidden beauty and gems that not everyone thinks or knows about when they think of this particular area of Liverpool.
Being from the region and my mother being born in this part of the city in particular I knew the area fairly well and wanted people to see that there were good qualities about the area that must be preserved when in the redeveloping the area.
History covered up
When I visited the area for the site analysis one particular row of 19th century terraces had been bordered up with metal shutters to keep squatters out. These houses had been bought by the local council from its tenants in order to replace them with new designs that the architects in mind had planned.
Noticing that one of these metal boards was leaning against a wall I had an idea. Using the metal sheet project the hidden beauty of Toxteth through it using projectors, filling a space with dots of light from pictures of the area.
Exposing the beauty within
It is quite a symbolic design, a metal shutter that had been residing on these hundred year old terrace buildings with aeons of history behind them, abandoned but with many stories to tell, are now telling new stories through pictures, light and the thing that were once covering them up in the first place, showing viewers that beauty exists in the places they didn’t expect and sometimes the only way to see the beauty of something is to actually go in to the space and see for yourself whether you deem it bad or not bad at all.
Above a fellow architect student helps set up the installation.
The light of the projector starts to shine on the metal boards borrowed from the Toxteth Region of Liverpool
Other students visit the space to experience the beauty within
Light projection starts showing the images of the Toxteth Region and starts showing people the beauty of the area through light and colour.
Making our own perceptions
Sometimes when we look at something we consider what people have told us in the past instead of making our own perceptions, Toxteth has a lot of history as well as hidden gems like Toxteth.TV (visit the website here ), a great community, a varied cultural background and a lot of green space for an inner city suburb all things that should be preserved when regenerating the area.
The installation formed the basis of the idea behind a masterplan for regenerating the Toxteth Area, preserving the historical artefacts of the area when adding new architectural designs to the space already being used. I will include the masterplan of Toxteth that I ( along with two other students ) created in the near future.