The Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple of London: Critiquing Undemocratic Land in London.

Matthew Sawyer. Unit 12.

London is currently undergoing a shift in the way we experience public space. The sale of land to corporate organisations is generating a new type of space, known as Privately Owned Public Spaces. This is becoming increasingly common and yet is generally ruled by undemocratic means. Regulations and strict criteria dictate what a member of the public can do, see, photograph or even limit whether they are allowed to enter.

The project attempts to metaphorically utilise the Freemason’s infamous relationship with public and private spaces to critique the increasingly urgent issue of undemocratic land ownership within London. Initially the Masonic fraternity was deeply secretive and yet in recent years has thrown open its doors in order to combat it’s rapidly decreasing membership figures. To encourage transparency the masons have released their membership lists, opened their temple doors and relaxed their membership criteria. Ultimately, this causes an interesting and important program to emerge as it allows a dialogue that challenges our perception of public private space.

Tutors: Professor Jonathan Hill, Elizabeth Dow, Matthew Butcher.