Business parks house a mismatch of organisations. At Twinwoods Business Park, near Milton East, Bedfordshire – a small village about 60 miles north of London – one can find, among other things, Bedford Pets Crematorium, an office of Bedford Borough Council and the headquarters of a company that offers indoor skydiving. One might assume the business park exists to group what is otherwise unrelated.
This collection of unremarkable buildings mirrors their function; a place for those activities that somebody needs to perform, somewhere, at a certain address, but not necessarily within our field of vision. But in the corner of the park is a stitch, one that marks the steady knitting together of private business and government institutions within the evolution of contemporary capitalism. Into the resulting mesh – the space that most people in the United Kingdom live and move freely within every day – a small pocket of space, which humans cannot leave, or lock eyes with the rest of us and explain who they are, has been sewn.
The business park’s varied tenants epitomise the adaptability of such buildings. Underdetermined by their physical structure they are easily appropriated and divulge just a few clues few clues as to the practices unfolding inside. It is within this context that the anomalous space can exist unchallenged. There are other stitches like this elsewhere across the country: on the fringes of rural lanes, within the perimeter of airports, along the exterior walls of former prisons.
They can reveal structures that occupy an expected position, normal by design but alien in function, and therefore invisible, preventing passers-by from ever noticing how different the activity they conceal really is.