A community space under a traffic flyover is the latest hip hangout

Settle down with a BLT bagel and an ice-cream and watch your favourite films at 'Folly for a Flyover' this weekend



Hackney Wick, under the A12 in where it crosses the Lea Navigation canal, London, United Kingdom


From: 19 July 2011
Until: 31 July 2011

Folly for a Flyover

Opening hours:
Fridays: 7pm until 11pm
Saturday - Sunday: 11am until 11pm

Weekend workshops
Start at 2pm
Evening events at 8pm




More commonly found in an 18th century English country garden, the decorative folly can now be found in a new location: under the A12 Hackney Wick flyover, in the gap between the east and westbound traffic.

Built by dry assembly salvaged wooden bricks, Folly for a Flyover is a temporary building housing a cinema, café and workshops. It will act as a meeting point for the local community until 31 July, when it will be dismantled and distributed throughout the Olympic boroughs of East London and used to build smaller structures in school gardens and community centres.

Folly for a Flyover is the latest project from Assemble, the art collective which brought The Cineroleum to a disused petrol station in Clerkenwell last year. "We didn't set out to build another cinema," Amica Dall, project leader at Assemble, told Phaidon. "We started brainstorming ideas, looking at facilities already available in the area and the natural resources of the site."

Assemble wanted to create more of a community atmosphere which responded to Hackney Wick's complex landscape. "Unlike the dense urban grain of Clerkenwell, the folly site is between rapid development, older industry, wild spaces and several diverse residential communities. We hoped to turn this space into an open platform for less determined activity, and create a sense of local ownership," added Dall.

The project is a collaboration with the Barbican's summer exhibition, Watch Me Move and screens films in line with the exhibition's themes. This weekend, under the theme of 'Visions', Akira, 2001: A Space Odessey and The Wizard of Oz will be screened and next weekend Folly for a Flyover will become part of the East End's art scene for Hackney WickED Festival (29 - 31 July).

If you can't get to see all the films there's plenty of other activities on site, we asked Dall for her to do list: "For a perfect day at the folly, begin by buying a BLT bagel and ice-cream from the cafe. Eat your lunch aboard one of our small rowboats as you paddle past Wick Woodland along the Lea Navigation Canal. End your night under the flyover watching an evening screening of Wizard of Oz accompanied by a live performance from East London Brass Band."

Folly for a Flyover is the winner of the Merrill Lynch CREATE Art Award 2011 which offers residents of the Olympic host boroughs a chance to engage in the local community. So it must be particularly gratifying to see the commission of a wooden house under a motorwary become the success it has. Dall explained: "The Olympic development means many different things, particularly in an area like Hackney Wick, and Assemble is a large group, but what we hold in common is the idea that it is important to do something positive and locally engaged."


Follow the link to follyforaflyover to see a video and photographs of the folly under construction.


. . Phi . . . .
. Be the first to learn about exclusive downloads, the latest stories and members-only discounts!

Enter your email below, sign up and check your email inbox for your first special offer.
. .