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Londons – The Polycentric City, a photography exhibition by Mass Collective

12 Jan–5 Mar 2022
Foyer Gallery

Londons – The Polycentric City is back! The photography exhibition by Mass Collective will be on show at the Building Centre, from 12 January - 5 March 2022.

“Shot by eight photographers, Londons – The Polycentric City maps out the capital from eight different perspectives, rejecting a single, monolithic view in favour of a fragmentary, multifarious mosaic. Each photographer worked in a different location, in areas frequented by locals, especially during the lockdowns. These areas aren’t famous or glamorous, but they’re key to understanding the city. London’s urban sprawl expresses its true contemporary identity, including its constant evolution; as such, it holds clues to its future. If this project is a kind of map, it contains the seeds of the next evolution.

Some of those seeds look distinctly dystopian. The landscape in Barking, Kingston, and around the greenbelt are tightly controlled and partitioned, while the wave of new tower blocks in Nine Elms looks overwhelming. Other areas show past failures, initiatives that didn’t pan out, such as the fading carparks in Croydon, or the grimy land under the Westway. Elsewhere London’s a palimpsest, a jumble of time harder to read in Brentford or the strip up to Stratford. Both these areas look out over rivers, ancient and yet ever-changing; you can’t step into the same river twice, so the saying goes. London is 2000 years old, and it’s still in the process of shapeshifting.” – Words by Diane Smyth

Londons showcases the work of photographers Andrew Meredith, Caroline Charrel, Francesco Russo, Henry Woide, Luca Piffaretti, Polly Tootal, Simon Kennedy and Sue Barr. Curated by the members of Mass Collective in partnership with the Building Centre, this exhibition is designed by Brighton-based design studio Stanley James Press and installed by Install Archive.


Londons Zines and special edition posters featured in the exhibition are available to purchase from the MASS online shop.


About Mass Collective

Mass is a collective of photographers documenting the built environment, that hosts online talks, in-person events and exhibitions that react to the evolving constructed landscape. Founded by photographers Henry Woide, Francesco Russo and Luca Piffaretti, it was created as a space to socialise, share ideas and experiences between like-minded photographers.

After taking part in the 2020 London Festival of Architecture, Zoomed In festival and hosting a virtual exhibition through the Mass Virtual Gallery, Londons is the first physical exhibition created and curated by the Collective.

Featured photographers: Andrew Meredith, Caroline Charrel, Francesco Russo, Henry Woide, Luca Piffaretti, Polly Tootal, Simon Kennedy and Sue Barr.

To know more about the exhibition and the photographers visit or follow @mass.collective on Instagram.


Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.


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