Realising that the west block of Robin Hood Gardens is soon to be demolished and prompted by negative comments on my blog last week, I thought I should go and see why it is both revered and reviled. It’s easy to see why it’s reviled: long concrete blocks, poorly maintained, in a bleak area of Blackwall. Revered ? It’s presumably partly the sheer arrogant bloody-mindedness of it, the ruthless imposition of post-war socialist ideals on the resident population, so that, more than anywhere else, it has become emblematic of an era and its erroneous utopianism, so that, like the Euston Arch, it will be remembered as a great loss, wantonly destroyed by Margaret Hodge when Minister:-
Its demolition is probably inevitable. But even now, nearly ten years after it failed to be listed by English Heritage and following a sea-change in public taste, my own included, it ought to be possible for Graham Haworth and Steve Tompkins, good and intelligent architects, to incorporate their renovation into revised plans for the estate.