Features Walthamstow

Walthamstow’s tallest tower becomes a meme

The lift shaft of what will soon be a 34 storey tower in central Walthamstow has been ‘memeified’ by opposed local residents

By Marco Marcelline

Live or work in Walthamstow? Chances are you’ve seen the tower. Use Facebook too? Then you probably haven’t missed the memes of it either.

The lift shaft of what will soon be a 34 storey tower has been the source of simultaneous ire and enjoyment on the Walthamstow Life community page on Facebook.  The skyscraper is one of two residential towers being constructed as part of the redevelopment of Walthamstow Mall, or 17&Central.

An Instagram page dedicated to memes of the Tower has also popped up. Simply called @walthamstow_tower, the page has attracted close to 700 followers in just over a week.

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A post shared by @walthamstow_tower

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The memes include mockups of Boris Johnson’s zip wire stunt, this time from the Walthamstow towers, and King Kong atop the tower. A mockup of the structure as the Leaning Tower of Pisa complete with tourists pretending to push it has also been widely liked.

Credit: Andy Bottomley

Andy Bottomley, a graphic designer for film & TV, who has lived in Walthamstow for over ten years, has come up with one of the most popular memes shared so far; a space rocket attached to the lift shaft structure. It has over 700 likes on the Walthamstow Life page alone.

For Andy, making the meme is a means of voicing opposition to the “eyesore” of a tower in an upbeat and lighthearted way. He notes: “Social media is a place where a lot of people voice their negativity; there’s a lot of aggravation; a lot of people that bite.”

Walthamstow residents opposed to the towers may have lost the fight to stop its construction but it’s clear that the memes are providing some consolation.

The development will consist of 535 one and two-bedroom apartments within two towers of 34 and 27 storeys. The towers will come with a publicly accessible reception with dedicated concierge, lounge area, and ground floor cafe. 

According to its website, The Mall is currently on schedule and is due for completion by July 2025. The towers will be wrapped in glazed terracotta cladding, and its developers say it will “underpin” wider regeneration efforts including a re-landscaped town square. 

Contractor Tide Construction is completing 100% of the apartment modules off-site. Module installation is due to begin in October, before the fit-out begins in February 2024.

Note: An earlier version of this article stated a total of 495 apartments would be built. The correct total figure is 535 after the five phases of the development are complete, with Tide Construction and Long Harbour delivering 495 apartments as part of phase one.

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