Woolworth Tower
Woolworth Tower
Woolworth Tower
Woolworth Tower

Woolworth Tower

Located in a derelict Woolworths in the north-west of London, Woolworth Tower is an imagined proposal intended to raise, critique and mock the widespread skin-deep regeneration found across many cities today (see also: ELIS). The work of outfits such as Urban Splash was taken as an example – surface treatments made with a palette of identi-kit cultural signifiers intended to increase the value of property without actually tackling any of the real spatial or social issues at hand. A wide-angle lense used to make cramped ex-council houses seem spacious, a smattering of colourful classic furniture (all of it knock-off high street imitations, of course), and the obligatory fruit bowl hinting at the healthy lifestyles of the young professionals within. You’re making an investment into a lifestyle; but please ignore the terrible acoustics and don’t worry if the faux-Saarinen table rocks around a bit, eh?

The project consisted of creating a series of visuals in collaboration with Matthew Darbyshire for the Zabludowicz Collection’s exhibition The Shape We’re In (exhibited in New York and London). Alongside artists such as Tracy Emin and Nick van Woert, the artwork took the shape of a trompe-l’œil banner depicting the in-situ advertising hoarding in London for the hypothetical development. The location – on the 33rd floor of 1500 Broadway, Times Square – was a particularly ideal setting, as described by Blake Gopnik, “being shown on a banner in an art show set in a high-rise development…and whose windows give views over more redevelopment“.

The exhibition was accompanied by a book: The Shape We’re In ISBN 978-1-907921-01-8

The accompanying publication featured text by Owen Hatherly reflecting on both Woolworth Tower and ELIS. ISBN 978-1-907921-01-8.

Full wireframe render with daylight system:

Detail of wireframe render:

Mixing bowl with reflections:

Apples in living room:

Scuffed floor in kitchen: