Robin Hood Gardens (2)

We went back to Robin Hood Gardens again this afternoon, to ponder its fate.   It seems to have been caught in the gap between the failure of the grand schemes of municipal socialism in the 1990s and the glitzy revival and change in land values of Greenwich Peninsula only a decade or so later, left to rot by the Council, rather than sold and revived like the nearby Balfron Tower, which is just as bleak, but with an equally strong architectural character.   Future generations have to ponder why a major work by the Smithsons was left to decay, while a work by Ernö Goldfinger similar in style and date (it’s 1965) is being preserved as an architectural monument:-


2 thoughts on “Robin Hood Gardens (2)

  1. Martin Hopkinson says:

    An important forerunner for this scheme and others of its ilk was the pre-war Quarry Hill flats in Leeds demolished almost 40 years ago. Of course no councils have been able or willing to deal with the upkeep of monumental schemes, however admired as architecture by the knowledgeable

  2. Martin Hopkinson says:

    The ambition of the rather later Hulme estate in Manchester and the aspirations of architect and council was proclaimed by the naming the crescents after Robert Adam, Charles Barry, William Kent and John Nash! It took less than 5 years for the realisation that this development was a disaster. Park Hill in Sheffield however I think has survived after controversial help from English Heritage. The Scot John Lewis Womersley, of course, was a much better architect and planner than the authors of the Hulme scheme., and had imbibed some of the ideas of Le Corbusier. And he worked with two bright young sparks, only recently graduated, Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith. Ivor Smith, I think, is still alive.

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