Posts tagged with "Underground":

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Dormant for 70 years, South London’s war-time tunnels now open to the public for the first time

On the surface, Clapham South is your standard Northern Line tube station, complete with art deco decorum to boot. Situated in South London in what was once a gritty part of the capital, but now a typically gentrified area, there are more than just tube tunnels that run below the ground.  One hundred twenty feet and approximately 178 steps down, one can now find the place where many South Londoner's took refuge during World War II. The tunnels at Clapham, now open to the public for the first time, once catered for over 8,000 people. After a public protest for more deep level shelter protection, tunnels were dug by hand such was the desperation of the local population. As Londoners clamoured for beds, air raid tickets were issued with strict guidance on what shelter to go to and even what bed to use. After lying dormant for 70 years, the tunnels and beds left untouched have been reopened. The original signs remain and thanks to a few tactful inceptions courtesy of Transport for London (TfL) and The London Transport Museum, the tunnels offer an immersive view into the life of a Londoner during war time. TfL say that they hope the tunnels will also be a useful stream for revenue. After the war, the tunnels remained in use, acting as temporary homes for immigrants invited to Britain from the West Indies. Most of the beds were used by Jamaicans who had travelled across on the Empire Windrush in 1948. Clapham South wasn't the only station used for refuge. In fact many tube stations doubled up as shelters during the war. At the other end of the Northern Line, American talk show host Jerry Springer was born at Highgate tube station as his mother took shelter during an air raid in 1944.
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Bring underground mood to your interior

  Ceramiche Refin S.p.A. pulls from the raw, urban street conditions around us to define their 'District' collection - a series of porcelain tiles that translates the textured and crude surfaces that we see outside, for appreciation indoors. Porcelain tiles with finishes reminiscent of asphalt (Road) that combine with the metallic-style vintage materials typical of old-style shops (Garage), as well as distressed woods inspired by velodrome surfaces and the small brickwork found on indoor walls (Track). Collectively, ‘District’ is an expression of urban lifestyle that is evident in the busiest of the world’s metropolis’s — from london to new york — taking on the rugged, industrial and underground mood that is projected in these places, and refining them for enhancing your desired space. The result is a complex porcelain tiles collection ideal for bringing a wealth of personal touches to residential settings, or for tiling commercial settings throughout in order to create up-to-the-minute atmospheres with a dynamic personality. More info: http://www.refin.us/series/district/
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With Limited Land for Housing, Hong Kong Looks to Grow Underground

The housing problem in Hong Kong is critical. Studies estimate that the city of seven million will have to house another 600,000 people over the course of the next 30 years. With rapidly increasing urbanization rates, leading Chinese metropolises are speculating on fast and intelligent ways to manage population growth by creating additional housing within their existing borders. While some cities are growing taller and others are mulling developing rare and cherished park space, Hong Kong is taking a different approach. Officials and engineers have thought about something else: developing an extensive underground city. The plan calls for building a cross-harbor pedestrian corridor equipped with residences, shops, retail outlets, sports, and entertainment facilities located under Victoria Harbor. As the government is searching for any and all options that could create space for housing, it has already identified fifteen urban areas that could be used for underground development by the end of 2015. In their 2009-2010 Policy Agenda, the city’s Development Bureau released a new initiative to launch strategic plans to develop Hong Kong’s underground space in a sustainable way. The study, entitled Enhanced Use of Underground Space in Hong Kongexplores different techniques that would employ the city’s underground territory for additional housing and long term demographic and economic enhancement. Despite the ambitious nature of the plan, there remains many drawbacks and obstacles preventing its implementation. Experts argue that the development of Hong Kong's underground would be extremely costly, and much more so than surface projects as the costs of construction would be higher. Moreover, the laying out of such plans is extremely lengthy, and the need for housing in the city is pressing. Therefore, potentials of underground space development might not be the immediate answer to an urgent problem.   Still, others continue to push for bulldozing green space in favor of more development. Gordon Wu, chairman developer of Hopewell Holdings Ltd and Vice President of the Real East Developer’s Association, labels people’s attachment to city-parks as “stupid” and not something that Hong Kong should pride itself on. In line with Wu's statement, many city officials find parks to be extremely problematic as over 230,000 residents are on a waiting list for public housing. Another option being explored would be to take over the sea and to create man-made islands which would be in close proximity to the city's center and financial district. The Development Bureau estimates a need to extend the city's built environment by up to ten square miles in order to accommodate residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. This proposal remains opposed by residents who argue that such construction would have a negative impact on the value of water-front apartments, and would hinder the view of the city's famous and breathe-taking panorama. Environmental activists also object to the proposal as they are concerned with the safety and well being of dolphins and other marine animals.