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Report - Robin Hood Gardens, Blackwall, London - August 2015

Discussion in 'Residential Sites' started by slayaaaa, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Intro

    Ok, so another Brutalist housing estate awaiting fate. Mostly derelict but still partially lived in, we checked this on the internet by accident and decided to have a look a little while ago. Had some luck and ended up returning again to take a closer look.

    Either love it or hate it, this architecture is pretty insane and in all honest I really enjoyed having a good look around the estate. The architecture is very unique and 100% I'd rather see these refurbished as opposed to new horribly repetitive expensive housing.

    Worth a report and something very different. First time I've posted anything in Residential...

    MrWhite, BoomStick, Stewie

    History

    This story begins in 1963 – though it stretches back further, of course, in terms of East End housing problems and the visions of politicians, planners and architects in solving them. Still, in that year, three small areas of land became available to the then London County Council for redevelopment. Alison and Peter Smithson were commissioned to draw up designs for two separate buildings with plans for further which would form ‘one big linked dwelling group’.

    Two years later, the Greater London Council decided to demolish the adjacent Grosvenor Buildings – seven private tenement blocks opened in 1885, replacing slums cleared by the Metropolitan Board of Works. The council acquired 1200 tenants in need of rehousing and an additional five acres of land. The Smithsons acquired a new drawing board for their vision.

    Construction began in 1968, the first flats opened in 1971 and the scheme as a whole was completed in 1972 at a cost of £1,845,585. It comprises two precast concrete-construction slab blocks – a ten-storey building adjacent to the Blackwall Tunnel approaches and a seven-storey running, more or less in parallel, along Cotton Street. These are, visually, a fairly uncompromising example of Brutalist design.

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    There are 214 flats in all – 38 flats intended for old people at ground level and a mix of two- to six-bedroom maisonettes for the rest with a population of around 700 at a housing density of 142 persons per acre. The flats are spacious and well-lit.

    Construction began in 1968, the first flats opened in 1971 and the scheme as a whole was completed in 1972 at a cost of £1,845,585. It comprises two precast concrete-construction slab blocks – a ten-storey building adjacent to the Blackwall Tunnel approaches and a seven-storey running, more or less in parallel, along Cotton Street. These are, visually, a fairly uncompromising example of Brutalist design.

    There are 214 flats in all – 38 flats intended for old people at ground level and a mix of two- to six-bedroom maisonettes for the rest with a population of around 700 at a housing density of 142 persons per acre. The flats are spacious and well-lit.

    [​IMG]
    Tower Hamlets Council, the successor landlord to the GLC, voted for demolition in 2008 – a decision apparently supported by over 75 per cent of residents. We’ll come back to that too.

    This, it turned out, was the beginning rather than the end of the debate about the future of Robin Hood Gardens. At this point the Great and the Good of British architecture weighed in. They argued passionately that the estate should be saved.

    Unfortunately that doesn't look likely, and, as you're about to see, the place isn't in the best condition.

    (Thank you Municipal dreams: https://municipaldreams.wordpress.c...onstration-of-a-more-enjoyable-way-of-living/)

    Pictures

    Black and white because BRUTAL

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    Thanks for watching
     
    mrwhite likes this.

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  2. mrwhite

    mrwhite 28DL Regular User
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    Sweeeeeeet
     
  3. Idle Hands

    Idle Hands 28DL Regular User
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    I enjoyed reading that - nice to see. As a fan of brutalist architecture I have to say I've always found that estate quite oppressive to be around. Better to see it refurbished than have nondescript housing put there instead though, as you say. You should have tried for Balfron Tower down the road - I think that was being emptied for renovations at some point.
     
  4. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    Haha balfron tower, that and trelick, ridiculous buildings. That won't happen any time soon, but i think it might be open for the london open day coming up this month.
    Cheers :)
     
  5. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Epic report.....great pics and detail :D Thanks for sharin' :thumb
     
    Brighteyes likes this.
  6. Brighteyes

    Brighteyes 28DL Full Member
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    Beautiful shots
     
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