Upcircle was shortlisted to redesign the iconic railway bridge over Brixton Road. A competition proposed by the Lambeth Council and Brixton BID to renovate the area as part of Brixton Design Trail.
Brixton is a vibrant area with a great variety of cultures, history (individual or collective), colours, flavours, sounds, perfumes and it all exists thanks to its residents. This Bridge and Brixton share one common characteristic: it creates connections.
Above all differences Brixton is made of people who interact and communicate by using body language and more specifically hand language. The hand language goes beyond culture and speeches, it’s a complete form of expression: the way one can wave at you, to blow a kiss, to thumb up and to support you.
It’s also a great manner to care and help for each other: I can shake your hands, give you a hand to stand up, to built something together, to pat at your shoulder, to give you a hand-kissing, and to dry your tears. Our hands are a form of connection with each other.
The sign language used is the European world wide alphabet. It is a universal communication symbol that reaches everyone: the born and bred Brixton resident, the more recent resident, but also the tourist and the Londoner visitor.
To support the bridge identity was designed three panels made of concrete casting to feature hands prints from different residents. Its a way to fix forever the presence of the people who live in the area. Each print will be then applied with their date of birth and it's a reference to the Chinese Theatre’s Forecourt of the Star in Hollywood, where famous actors mark the world with their hand prints. In Brixton, the stars are the residents.