After a month away from the site, I was pleased to see that the UTC@harbourside building progress has come on leaps and bounds. There is now a forest of supports holding up the new floors while they are being formed. It is strange to be inside the building that was for so long a vast empty space and is now filling up. Also disorienting was the fact that the uppermost parts of the building were almost within arm’s length from the new first floor: the huge iconic gantry, the tops of the elegant columns, the upper sections of the old walls. They were all so familiar but somehow changed when seen from this new perspective.
The old Marine and Carpenter’s Workshops in Newhaven Harbour have been empty for a long time now but they were once a hive of industrial activity where boats, ferries and even a paddle steamer were maintained and repaired, with the adjacent railway buildings housing their own railway workshops.
The buildings will now have a new lease of life. Renovation and rebuilding will transform this beautiful old building into a new University Technical College for 14-19-year-olds. UTC@Harbourside will specialise in marine and environmental engineering. The partners behind this new school have hired me to document the process of this renovation. For 15 months, I will be taking a weekly journey down the road from Lewes to the coast to watch this old abandoned building emerge as a new place for learning and inspiration.
Blog posts about what it is like to photograph this incredible building can be found here.