Field Notes

Note 2: Capacity

Location: Capacity House, 2-6 Rothsay Street, Bermondsey, London SE1

Capacity field trip map

In 2002

In 2002

• People only drive down Rothsay Street on a Sunday when they’re lost. We watch another car make a three-point turn, head back to Tower Bridge Road. The neighbourhood is a mix of the falling-down and boarded-up, low-rise council blocks, luxury new-builds. Capacity House is in a sorry state, the product of quick and cheap light industrial architecture. Its bright red letters have faded to anaemic pink. The second A is drooping. In the top floor window is a tower of Andrex toilet rolls. The security around the building is remarkably fierce: Private Property. These Premises are Alarmed. Danger High Voltage accompanied by a tangled mass of barbed wire. The stench of deep fat fryers chokes the air. Someone has carved SPURS into concrete on the pavement. A guy on crutches walks past, yelling “Hey! What are you looking for?” Near the entrance we find a coffin-shaped door latch; someone’s written on it in black marker wogs stink, and on the back they do. “We’re on the fault line,” Vici says.
• Words Tamar Yoseloff / Photos Vici MacDonald

Below: picturesque decay at over-protected Capacity House. Bottom: exhibition display of field notes.

Capacity field notes display