Published on June 8th, 2017 | by Ben Southwood


Skylight, Wapping

Wapping is one of those forgotten places in London that you’ve vaguely heard of, as the site of a Victorian slum. A hazy memory of past industrial greatness. But it’s somewhere you’ve never really had a reason to go to—or even through.

But modern London is a special place, and it can create something out of basically nothing. So it is with the top floor of Tobacco Dock car park, now an astroturfed drinking spot—”Skylight”—with croquet, boules (or petanque, as they call it) and various food concessions selling halloumi and laab.

What’s astonishing is that even as outdoor night markets and street food spots and boxparks seem to sprout daily in every possible locale, they manage to be busy with happy punters given even the most marginal sunlight and excuse to drink.

It should always have been surprising that somewhere so close to the centre of town—just minutes from the City—was so overlooked, and I suspect future historians will see the current wave of car park repurposings as symbolic of the dramatic and historic recovery of the UK’s capital.

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