In the late 1970s a group of people living in the borough of Hackney in East London began building a structure on a derelict lot in their neighborhood. They continued building until last January. The story of the project’s origins are a mystery. All that is known is that because the residents couldn’t decide on what they wanted to build, they made three rules. One: they would build without discussion, plan or blueprint. Two, when they were on the building site, no one was allowed to speak. And three, the building would never be completed, in that anyone at any point could decide to take it in a new direction. So the structure was built for thirty years, until last year when the council sold the land to a developer who tore it down in January.
The structure is the subject and inspiration for an ongoing project by the London/Stockholm based artist Emanuel Almborg. Almborg began by photographing the structure in the months prior to its destruction and has been compiling an archive of sorts of its history.
The book features archival images together with Almborg’s photographs of the structure taken weeks before its demolition, together with a critical essay by theorist Jeff Kinkle. The book can best be described in Almborg’s own words:
This book does not provide a historical account of what happened or why it happened, because such an attempt would conflict with the very nature of the project: Its anonymity and concealment are essential. Instead, this book presents a visual index of its existence, the set of conditions that frames the project and attempts to imagine the ideas and possibilities that surround it. The rest is silence.