London's flow

London’s flow

June 2013

London conveys a difficult identity which, on the other hand, is unique and rare. If I want to give a first hunch on London, I compare it to the ancient Rome, the capital of a great cultural world which accommodated people from every class and nationality.

Many images might be collected from this city according to the time spent in its life. In fact, neither shape, nor feature may be associated to London settlement, because every human sign changes and determines a new footprint on the urban space. People come, give and get their interests and then leave for their diverse purposes. However, there is a bond to this city which forces the continuous passage of individuals. Grounds are several, from economic to cultural and even personal. Overall, everybody has to get through and to transform the spatial London identity. In the end, the concept of an airport is the most appropriate character of that complexity.

Moreover, the spatial greatness of the continuous building evokes speechlessness because the mind tires to understand to whole functioning of services and trade sectors. Under/over ground railways systems cross and go through offices, stations, houses and landscape. This seamless connection apparently does not own a relation among zones, but it determines the possibility of realizing the different layers of human activities on the same residential fabric. At the same time the perception of the whole comes up controversial: no one definition might define topics and solutions. The dimension of relativism of the individual ideas and of the social realities find a clear evidence in the city of London.

Finally, the concept of market crosses the London identity from the actual sense of its trades to the image of a walkabout where people from all over the social status go. From the bustling downtown to the quietness of the suburbs, London is the trade-off of every human relationship of exchange.

Again people come and leave, land and take off, buy and sell, shake hands and sign business contract, tear down and put up new service buildings. And yet they make the variable and frank picture of London, of the city, of the reality which steadily flows over time.

Francesco Ciccarelli.