Architectural Association School of Architecture
by Nabil Randeree
Pleasure should be inherent to the city, and should be designed for, especially in an area that lacks it, or has lost it. Vauxhall has a historic relationship with London in catering for pleasure, from the illicit to the everyday. Facilitators for this have continuously been found in Vauxhall from brothels to The Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, and to todays nightclubs, all of which are key in establishing Vauxhall’s historic status as a pleasure centre. The unique identity that these industries created in Vauxhall benefited its local economy and provided an escape for the whole of London. In recent years the tightening in London’s attitude and strategies (or lack there of) toward culture, has seen a dulling of the pleasure identity of Vauxhall, as has also happened to many other leisure centres before it. In aims of saving, and reinvigorating, these cultural industries London has set out a strategy to boost the night time economy and create a 24 hour city which embraces, and expands, its pleasure economy. In this vein, the project proposes a Pleasure Garden for 2018, which extends and reinforces the historic and existing pleasure in Vauxhall. By designing the social, physical and ephemeral infrastructures, multiple atmospheres of pleasure are created, and overlapped, to make a surreal escape, that is the pleasure garden. By also designing a new Pleasure Economy Strategy, that challenges London’s current legislative structures, the project looks to create a larger pleasure district, ultimately aiming to revive the cultural identity for today’s Vauxhall.