333, Kingsland Road

After the announcement of the shortlist for the Stirling Prize at midnight last night, I thought I would go and visit the projects which are close-at-hand, including a combined Primary School and apartment block on the Kingsland Road by Henley Halebrown. Of course, it isn’t a great idea to turn up at a primary school on the last day of term and I probably looked a bit eccentric in bicycling shorts. So, I could only see the outside. The nomination describes it as pink which is odd because by far its most obvious feature is that it is powerfully and sculpturally brick red, including the concrete base which has been stained the same colour. It is included in Owen Hatherley’s recently published Modern Buildings in Britain dated 2019, so am not clear why it is included this year, but it’s an interesting combination of tower block cross-subsidising the adjacent school, commissioned by the Benyon Estate, who own De Beauvoir Square and big chunks of Birmingham:-


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