Kevin’s Interview @ Bonnington Square, SW8, London, April 2015. on Vimeo

Kevin has lived in Bonnington Square since the mid-seventies. I lived there between the mid-80s and the mid-90’s, for 11 years. During my time there the two adjacent squares of Vauxhall Grove and Bonnington Square where squatted, predominantly by artists: musicians, puppet theatre artists, sculptors, photographers, illustrators, dancers, installation artists, actors, writers…. , and painters like me.

Bonnington Square on Vimeo

Bonnington Square is right in the heart of London, just two minutes walk from the river and just ten minutes from the Houses of Parliament. In the early eighties the one hundred houses of the Square were all squatted, forming a bohemian community from all around the world.The squat had two community gardens, a cafe, a wholefood shop, a nightclub, a newsletter and even a milkbar. Although it is no longer squatted, there are still many low rent housing cooperatives, and the cafe and the gardens are still coll

Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Vauxhall, SE11

Developers aim to create a new business and cultural district, served by an extension to the Northern line, and glass tower blocks are under construction all around. Projects include the huge Nine Elms development between Vauxhall and Battersea, which will host the relocated £620 million American embassy. But there are complaints that landlords want multinational tenants to move in at the expense of smaller independents. It is feared that bars, clubs and cafes popular with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will be priced out. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, which featured in movie Pride, was bought by Austrian developer Immovate last year, and campaigners are trying to protect it from demolition. A fight to give it a heritage listing is being backed by stars including Sir Ian McKellen and Paul O’Grady, who performed there as Lily Savage. Princess Diana allegedly once visited the venue disguised as a man, accompanied by Queen’s Freddie Mercury. Bar Code, a nightclub under railway arches near Vauxhall station, was sold in June after its rent was more than doubled from £60,000 to £150,000.

Source: Vauxhall gay scene ‘under threat from rising rents’ as nightlife squeezed out by big chains | London | News | London Evening Standard

Citizen Space – Nine Elms on the South Bank – Public Realm Design Guide

The draft ‘Nine Elms on the South Bank Public Realm Design Guide’ has been produced in conjunction with Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership, the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Wandsworth and Transport for London. Click here to download a copy of the Nine Elms on the South Bank Public Realm Design Guide The Guide applies to an area from the Albert Embankment at Lambeth Palace in the London Borough of Lambeth, to Queenstown Road in the London Borough of Wandsworth. This area is defined as the Vauxhall Nine Elms Opportunity Area. Good public realm should serve the interests of all users, inclusive of age, gender, ability and cultural differences. This Guide focusses on the distinct urban character of Nine Elms on the South Bank and aims to ensure that future design is both relevant, and reflective of the area. It also defines the structure of ten character areas within the community, as well as the overarching themes for good public realm.

Source: Citizen Space – Nine Elms on the South Bank – Public Realm Design Guide

De-stress-tinations: Low-key locales in some of the world’s busiest cities

Meiji Jingu (Image: Yoshikazu TAKADA)

England’s capital city is home to more than 8 million residents, and that’s not counting the millions of tourists who visit this historic city each year. Take some time to de-stress in this British metropolis:Bonnington Square Garden: This community garden offers a new perspective on daily living. Each plant and tree that greets you is cared for by local residents, creating a sense of community that’s palpable as soon as you come upon the square. Be sure to visit the low-key and quirky Bonnington Cafe, whose ever-rotating menu of vegetarian fare takes on new international inspiration each day.

Source: De-stress-tinations: Low-key locales in some of the world’s busiest cities | Cheapflights