(Garage) x 350

When the Heygate Estate (London, UK) was built, its planners had intended to harmonize the community into a “whole” by forcing people through paths and walkways, and constructing flats that were identical in nature, on anonymous balconies. The garages that were also meant to homogenize, have been transformed, becoming a reflection of the individuality of their owners and their anxieties. They mark the inevitable transition to abandonment and the growing separation between the estate and the world outside. The repetition of forms (the garage doors) is interrupted by the impact of the individual on the garage, whether to secure it, to vandalize it, to embellish it, or to abandon it altogether. The plans of the constructors to harmonize through homogenization, are disrupted by man’s need to impose himself and by his fears as an individual.

A shift in priorities means that the redevelopment of the estate will see a diminishing role for the motorcar, favouring large pedestrian areas. Through my photographs, I wanted to pay tribute to an aspect of the past that is inevitably coming to an end, as well as make a statement about the hostile and defensive relationship that estates create with the outside world. To do this, I have photographed, and categorized all of the 350 garages on the Ashenden, Claydon, Kingshill, Marston and Swanbourne blocks of the Heygate.

The image reproduced below is a collection of garages the 350 garages that was exhibited in London last year. It is almost 2.5 meters long, and is 1 meter high.

© matteo borzone