The Highwalk

The Moorfields Highwalk is a fragment of a once extensive network of elevated streets.  In the post war reconstructive phase of the city, highwalks were deemed an obvious solution to the difficulty of pedestrian versus vehicle, and a natural partner to the newly introduced highrise.  In the City of London the provision of walkways connecting major public buildings at first floor level had a basis in planning guidelines. 
THE HIGHWALK NETWORK predates the Barbican Complex where it is now most concentrated
The walkways remain most successful in the internalised world of the Barbican Centre though even here it they are swathed in an aura of gloom and disorientation.  Pevsner (see previous post) was hardly the first person to notice the failure of the overall network to take off and it has been steadily chipped at over the past few decades.    Though it predates the Barbican, the tangle of ramps and podiums that comprise my site form a small knot in a larger arrangement. 

THE MOORFIELDS HIGHWALK; a knot in a larger arrangement
Though it remains underused, the sense of an alternate pace, of space, of emptiness embodied by the Moorfields Highwalk is valuable.  It is not simply a question of fetishising an urban ruin.  Through a series of strategic adjustments that relate to the existing conditions it would be possible to retain the atmosphere of the site and reconnect it to its immediate context. 
A VALUABLE SPACE in need of strategic fine tuning

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