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Lewis Bush

Ten sinister photos of London's construction boom

Lewis Bush's ‘Metropole’ series sees an ominous future of glass, steel and profit at all costs

Written by
Guy Parsons

What's London becoming? A bright, hopeful, futuristic metropolis? Or a dark, out-of-control monster? Lewis Bush suspects the latter, and his photographs of towering skyscrapers are – like the city itself – both frightening and mesmerising.

‘Elephant I’

‘In my dream I am lying on a hospital trolley waiting to be given an injection, but when the nurse arrives she isn’t carrying a hypodermic needle. Instead she has a skyscraper clutched under her arm. Inside it is the dust and rubble of demolished buildings. I am to be vaccinated with its steel pinnacle, inoculated against the city.’


‘This city, the mother city, has always been my home. I grew up exploring it, feeling that it was boundless and eternal. I visited street markets and department stores, churches and temples, museums and archives.’


‘Elephant II’

‘I explored the parks and gardens of the living, the cemeteries and necropoli of the dead. I travelled along the course of sunken rivers, followed roads with names which hinted at events and places forgotten, and passed through the invisible arches of gateways, long ago pulled down.’


‘The more time I spent in the city the more clearly I perceived its boundaries, and the changes that were overtaking it.’


‘Cannon II’

‘Not the creeping, organic change that must happen to all living cities, but an altogether more destructive kind.’


‘A change rooted in a particularly pernicious vision that saw the fabric and inhabitants of the city in terms of a simple commercial binary; as opportunity or obstacle.’


‘Cannon I’

‘From the financial heart of the city this new way of viewing radiated out along the urban transport routes.’


‘Demolishing or converting the derelict buildings which stood like memento mori. Homogenising the diverse communities which lived as testament to the city’s imperial past.’



‘Now the metropole, once the locus of empire, was itself subject to an oppressive power.’


‘One loyal only to profit. Devoid of a future. Bereft of the past.’


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