Not Quite Light beautifully captures reinvention of the Welsh Streets
Highlighting the heritage and transformation of hundreds of Victorian terraced properties in Toxteth is at the heart of a photographic project focusing on the Welsh Streets.
Specialist North West residential developer, Placefirst, has commissioned award-winning photographer, Simon Buckley, to document the transformation of the Welsh Streets as part of his Not Quite Light series on the changing face of towns and cities.
The redevelopment will see hundreds of empty properties transformed into two, three and four bedroom homes created for the family rental market.
Simon said: “Not Quite Light is a series of photographs taken at dawn and dusk. This has allowed me to spend a lot of time examining heritage and regeneration, capturing the changing environment in which we exist.
“I was delighted to be commissioned to capture the reinvention of the Welsh Streets. My grandparents lived all their lives in a ‘two-up two-down’ property, and I remember, as a small boy, being part of their world, where neighbours would chat and look out for each other, and where there was a feeling of pride in where they lived.”
The 19th Century properties are currently being brought back to life creating quality houses for people in the L8 area to rent. The first release of 24 homes, due for release in September 2017, is nearing completion. All 24 properties have been reserved ahead of completion by a mix of people already living locally and those new to the area.
Simon first started working with Placefirst in January as renovations began on the first properties. He captured the transition from derelict houses to beautiful new homes using the half-light of dawn and dusk, which is sees as a metaphor for transition.
“Working on the Welsh Streets project has been fascinating, seeing what can be done when terraced houses, once the foundation of a tight knit community, are re-imagined and brought into the 21st century,” he said.
A selection of the photos has been printed at large format and are now on public display through an outdoor photo gallery on High Park Street between Kelvin Grove and Voelas Street.
Martin Ellerby, from Placefirst, said: “Our ethos is to preserve and enhance the built heritage of the neighbourhoods we work in, preserving the best of the past whilst bringing empty properties well and truly into the 21st century as attractive family homes.
“We wanted to capture the transformation of the Welsh Streets and Simon’s Not Quite Light project showcases the process perfectly.”
As well as remodelling the interiors of the terraced properties, Placefirst is creating landscaped outdoor areas for socialising and playing. Rear property extensions, yards and alleys are being demolished and will be replaced by a mix of private gardens and terraces overlooking green community avenues to bring to life the outdoor space.