Eternal Thamesmead

Ever building, ever falling

Golgonooza is William Blake’s City of the Imagination. Its construction represents an eternal process of striving for an ideal – always under construction. In the words of Blake Golgonooza is both “ever building, ever falling”. Overlaying Golgonooza with Thamesmead, imagined “Town of the 21st century” and place of post war urban vision, a fragmented time based urban system emerges. The layout of Golgonooza is fourfold based on the fourfold human nature – comprising rational, emotion, regeneration and imagination. The concentration of human activity intensifies processes of transformation in the search for Golgonooza.

Thamesmead today is stuck in time. As a result of a post war tabula rasa and strict modernist planning it has lost its ability to evolve as a town. The origins of Thamesmead can be traced back to prehistoric times with a man made structure found near Slocum Close. From marshland being managed by the monks of Lesnes Abbey to the site of the Royal Arsenal, Thamesmead has undergone major changes until the 1960s. The gradual appearance of Golgonooza then allows for an evolutionary process to recommence. Golgonooza exists in the friction between reality and imagination: the overlay of a “heavenly grid”, the projection of urban fragments from different distances and times and the continuous transformation of the existing housing stock into incomplete building frameworks.

Vision for continuous urban transformation

Project developed at the Architectural Association London, Diploma Unit 1 with Miraj Ahmed and Martin Jameson