The Erith Lighthouse, which sits on the outskirts of London, has transformed this underrated town into a hotspot for nearby communities. It celebrates Erith’s heritage as a former leisure town before industry took over, aiming to put the area back on the map for both Londoners and Kent residents alike.
The striking pink and blue polycarbonate structure will serve as an event and dining space during August and September, with 17 local chefs hosting 17 different dinners, fusing London’s vibrant food culture with the area’s signature seasonal produce.
If the pop-up is a success, this could be the start of an exciting future for Erith; the pavilion has been backed by the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund, which aims to revive Erith’s town centre and maximise its unique River Thames location.
DK-CM co-founder David Knight told Culture Trip: ‘The project emerged from a study we did for the local council that explored the potential of temporary projects to celebrate Erith’s identity and character, and to inform development proposals. The lighthouse was our favourite idea from that earlier study – a lively, characterful and welcoming building, sited right alongside the River Thames and embodying all the things that are great and potentially great about Erith as a place to live: a riverside town with incredible views and a strong culture.
‘Since it opened, Erith Lighthouse has hosted dinners, workshops, a very popular day-time cafe, walks and talks, all curated by our collaborators The Decorators. The project has been welcomed by the local community, businesses and cultural organisations and we hope it will play an ongoing role in the town and help frame decisions about its future,’ he continued.
The intriguing design is made of a translucent plastic that glows at night and can be seen from afar, acting as a literal beacon for the town and its bright future. The idea is that the pavilion can be transported around the town and easily adapted to suit different purposes, which is why it was designed to be efficiently erected and easily dismantled if needs be.
It was around 150 years ago that Erith was a place of leisure, with pleasure gardens, hotels and yacht clubs lining the riverfront – the hope is that this project can be the beginning of Erith’s revival and recognition of its heritage as a desirable riverside destination.