Welcome to the tour about 20th Century Council Housing in London. Before we begin our tour, it is essential to understand the brief history of the English Council Housing. Council housing was once seen as a manifest of England’s growing prosperity and progress, as slums were replaced and housing conditions were improved, first in the 1890s and, on a larger scale from the 1950s. Although highly praised at first, this type of housing turned out to be an inadequate solution to the housing shortage. Nevertheless, the remaining council housing in London showcase the development of ambitions and some utopian visions of the architects, planners, and authorities in the 20th century.
This tour explores nine selected council housing with a review from the ideals, realizations to the present day of the estates and their communities. They are Broadwater Farm Estate, Alexandra Road Estate, The Brunswick Center, Grenfell Tower, The ‘Barrier Block’ Southwyck House, Aylesbury Estate, North Peckham Estate, Thamesmead Estate, and Balfron Tower.
It is important to be aware that some objects are situated a fair distance apart. With an exception for the link between Object 6 and 7, the journey between each object will take about 30 minutes up to an hour by public transportation. Therefore, we recommend dividing this tour into three parts: the North and West area (Object 1-4), the South area (Object 5-7), and the East area (Object 8 and 9). Using public transport such as Underground and Bus are suggested except for the connection between Object 6 and 7 which is within walking distance.
This tour is created by Arida Yasmin and Khattiya Pannindriya as part of the module “Detecting the City” under the master’s programme History of Architecture and Town Planning, University of Groningen.
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