Robin Hood Gardens (1)

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.


2 thoughts on “Robin Hood Gardens (1)

  1. Sue Benjamins says:

    Oh Dear Charles!!…Top Blog though this is, and much as I like and admire architects, speaking as a chartered surveyor and ex housing director (yes, one of those once even responsible, briefly, for Robin Hood Gardens), my particular comment last week was intended as a genuine question “why pine?” and not (totally! as negative….. tower monsters CAN be magnificent, see the Barbican Estate with which I had a longer, and fonder, association. There are many factors making the one desirable and a joy; while the other not so. In my humble view. Let us hope the replacement for RH Gardens is aspirational, liveable, sensible to maintain and satisfying to live within. I suppose I ought to research and find out but life moves on….it is a fascinating area around Blackwall/Chrisp St historically and continues to be so in the modern day.

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