Folly for a Flyover was a temporary project that demonstrated the potential for a disused motorway undercroft in Hackney Wick to become a new public space for the area. For 9 weeks, this neglected and unwelcoming non-place was transformed into a host space for local residents and visitors alike – attracting over 40,000 visitors in the course of one summer.
The Folly invested the site with a positive future by re-imagining its past – posing as a building trapped under the motorway. Its roof pushing up between the East and Westbound traffic above, Folly for a Flyover hosted an extensive programme of waterside cinema, performance and play delivered in conjunction with the Create Festival, the Barbican Art Gallery and numerous local organisations and businesses. By day the Folly hosted a cafe, workshops, events and boat trips exploring the surrounding waterways. At night audiences congregated on the building’s steps to watch screenings, from blockbusting animation classics to early cinema accompanied by a live score.
Like a giant construction-kit, the folly was hand-built by a team of over 200 volunteers. At the end of the summer, having served its initial purpose, the materials used in its construction were re-used as new play and planting facilities for a local primary school. Capitalising on the success of the Folly, the London Legacy Development Corporation invested in providing the permanent infrastructure which has allowed the site to continue as an events and cultural public space.
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