Rik is a friend of a friend and we once partied for a 24 hours in Berlin at Berghain, where the surrounding buildings don’t look dissimilar from the photograph above, which is of the Heygate Estate.
I love Rik’s photos. They’re full of clean lines, contrasts and little insights.
Here’s a short Q&A:
Why have you chosen to take pictures of social/council housing?
Initially I was drawn to them purely from an aesthetic point of view, then I started to find out more about them and found my interest ran beyond just the visual side of things. Most of my photography tends to be based around capturing fleeting moments of some sort, be that chance elements around me, or documenting changes in places and spaces. Estates seem to tick both those boxes and I love sharing and celebrating these moments with the viewer.
For you, what makes these places photogenic?
First and foremost it’s the modernist aesthetic, but also I’m also drawn to the idealism of the suburban utopia that they were supposed to create. There’s a certain melancholy in them as well, the idea of this Corbusier-esque ideal of living that sadly became ostracised by many communities.
What’s your favourite estate in London and why?
Tough one, can I have a top three? The Barbican will always be a big favourite, but I’m also a huge fan of it’s little sibling, Golden Lane. They’ve both managed to survive as shining examples of what estates were meant to be. Strong communities that provide fantastic places to live in the city. However, they’ve become very expensive as a result, which feels like it jars a little with the original ethos. I’ll always have a soft spot for the Trellick Tower as well, it feels like it’s been keeping watch on West London for years, an all seeing eye on an area rich in cultural history.
Thanks Rik! Now take it away.
Thamesmead: ‘Thamesmead still looks like something from the future even now.’
Unknown estate, Peckham: ‘I was just cycling along past this estate and I loved the symmetry of the block.’
Barbican: ‘A lesser-spotted vista of the Barbican, shot from one of the many walkways that grace it.’
Thamesmead: ‘The great use of colour on these garage doors drew me to this spot.’
Barbican: ‘Thereʼs so many great angles in the Barbican, hereʼs one of the tennis courts which frames this observer nicely.’
Brownfield Estate: ‘I love the convergence of lines and buildings in this shot, it feels jarring but seems to come together in the end – a good metaphor for estate communities.’
Heygate Estate: ‘ Hidden amongst the shadows, I found these signs that showed what a community the Heygate estate once was.’
Balfron Tower: ‘Iʼm quite often drawn to little details and love to bring them to attention, like this green balcony at the Balfron, the baby brother to the Trellick.’
Excalibur Estate: ‘Iʼve just launched a set from the Excalibur on my site and hereʼs one of my favourites from it.’
Thank you for sharing these Rik!