The Inside-out City: A Collection of London’s Exterior Interiors

Urban spaces are increasingly carefully packaged and come in a variety of flavours, each one designed to be consumed in a specific way. Cities are projects in spatial organisation. Like a corset, the city keeps space under control. This project collects sightings of London space suggesting a more chaotic reality.


Part 1: Illicit viewing

London is full of building sites where the act of spatial designation is taking place. Bulldozers move in, leaving raw space, undesignated, behind. Site hoarding covered in advertising hides this subversive space from view. If you look behind the screen, you feel like you’re watching something you shouldn’t be watching. It’s as if you’re seeing what London’s shiny mirage is really made of. Building site space shows London full of layers, like fabric. As time passes fabric tears, by accident or by design. Interiors are turned out like pockets.

On the site of the old King Street Cineworld Cinema, an Art Deco movie house dating back to the 1930s. You could sit inside and watch exteriors projected on screens. Now, the old cinema is like a cavity on King Street. I can see parts of the old place I never thought about. The water pipes. The doors to obscure store rooms. Wire.

An awning put up by the building company flaps in the wind, a surrogate screen.


Part 2: Outdoor Seating

In West London, interiors haunt. They assert themselves into outside spaces endlessly blurring the lines between drawing room and pavement, between building and empty space. The insides of our houses are creeping into the open air, turning the city inside out.

These are more than abandoned chairs. They are interior objects that have traveled, carried by the tide or human hands. Like building sites these chairs (recliners, strange urban shrines, and some with a tree-top view) invite us to rethink our spatial norms.