Living in a small low-rise block, provides a readymade community. One filled with the everyday warmth of family and friends .
For two months, house guest Joshua Phillips will get to know the neighbours of flat 24 well, many of which flat 24 already know as close friends. As a stranger he will come to understand this micro-interdependence, as a way to keep afloat, a mechanism of protection and friendship.
Through the collection of objects and conversation Joshua and the residents of Medina House will piece together uncovered narratives from the everyday; attempting to create a shared utopia from within flat 24’s walls set against the discussion of residents’ troubling interdependence on authority, and the differing perspectives of the power structures that surround buildings like Medina House.
Such architecture can be symbolic, and perhaps iconic, of such an interdependence between community and state. During the development of high-rise council owned blocks of flats during the 50s and 60s, many of which were built to replace homes lost to slum clearance, neighbourhoods all over the country were being demolished and rebuilt according to modern town planning concepts of mixed estates with low and high-rise building. Council house building redoubled in London and by the 60s with over 500,000 new flats had been added to London’s stock. Many of the new dwellings were in the form of multi-storey tower blocks which seemed the ideal solution to the housing problem at the time.
During the exhibition, flat 24 will become a studio, a site to further explore new ways of interpreting space and place. The flat will be used as a ‘live’ space for the presentation and display of ideas and works in-progress, brought together by Joshua an the residents of Medina House.
Joshua Phillips and The Residents of Medina House
Medina House, Rye Hill Park, London, UK