Friday, January 13, 2012

Robin Hood Gardens Demolition Countdown

BD Online has published an update on the plans to demolish Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens (opened in 1972) and replace it with new housing: Robin Hood Gardens poised for demolition (January 10, 2012; free registration required).

Top, the project in 2005. Photo by John Arundel from Wikipedia, used with permission.

Below, rendering of the new proposal published in BD, presumably by "master plan architects Horden Cherry Lee, working with Swan Housing and Countryside Properties and architects Aedas." It mixes 700 "affordable" new homes with 1000 open market units, a mosque, park and other services.

Admittedly I'm a little distant from the details of all this, but haven't they heard that New Brutalism is back, and they could probably have a waiting list of arty types willing to move into the adequately-renovated original?  

On the rendering used by BD to illustrate the replacement: its only clearly obvious virtues are all that grass and the full-grown trees and the loitering extras straight out of Seurat's Grande Jatte.

BD has been leading a campaign to save the project. according to an article in Wikipdeia. Rowan Moore at The Guardian has weighed in too. But the refusal by British Heritage to list the project in 2009 marked its doom.

1 comment:

  1. I really feel sad hearing that there had been a demolition countdown for robin hood gardens. I think that many people would feel the same thing that I feel about the place. I think that everyone would miss the value of such an historical place for others.