Since starting this blog I have been approached by a number of University students asking for information about housing design, housing estates, and related matters. Rather than creating a new list each time I am putting the list here.


Manor Estate Sheffield

The category groupings that follow are general owing to the overlap in subject matter among the papers many of which fall into more than one category. This rather arbitrary list is intended as a starting point for your housing research and is by no means a definitive guide.

Read the rest of this entry »


Kate Macintosh talking to Rowan Moore

That’s Dawsons Heights above them on the screen. The event held at the offices of Karakusevic Carson Architects in the old Peek Freans biscuit factory in Bermondsey was well attended by a majority female audience and largely consisted of Kate talking about her career and her work in an entertaining manner.

Kate is a hero to lots of women architects and planners for breaking down gender barriers in the profession. Apart from her architecture, she set up the women architects group at RIBA – so her political work on gender in the profession was really significant. – Tom Cordell

Here’s the audio. They start at 11 minutes in. Set your equipment to mono. Link valid two weeks from today.

I will not be transcribing the recording of this event.


June 10th, 2016

Since the Dan Cruickshank programme on flats, visits to my blog regarding scissor flats and dual aspect have shot up and these are the top ten at the of writing.

Screenshot at 2016-06-10 08-09-28

In the above image scissor flats are page 5595, crap flats page 884 and dual aspect page 5779.

“Both mayors elected so far, and the two major candidates this time, have offered the same solution, differing only in degree—a relentless offsetting, whereby the proceeds of runaway property speculation are proposed to be redistributed, usually by a legal requirement that developers build a percentage of “affordable” housing on or off the site, or pay for a bus stop, or fund some nice pavements and benches.”

“All of this relies on trying to inveigle the private sector into behaving more nicely. In a city where for nearly a century public bodies once directly built and directly owned thousands of high-quality homes and let them to people on low incomes at low rent, this is a staggering failure of imagination.” – Owen Hatherley writing in Prospect Magazine.


BBC/Oxford Film and Television/Lorian Reed-Drake

“I want to discover how the high-rise flat became the answer to Britain’s post-war housing crisis and why this modern way of living became loathed and loved in almost equal measure”

In weeks gone by the series has looked at the Medieval cottage and then the C19th terraced house. This week the final part takes us firmly into the C20th with concrete rather than brick construction and multi-storey towers replacing houses with gardens.

Read the rest of this entry »


Once again I find myself reading an important piece about social housing under threat, this time in Streatham, which needs wider publicity but instead is tucked away on a private discussion group. So I’m giving it a wider view at risk of copyright violation. I’d like to make it clear that what follows was not written by me but I agree with it as written and trust the judgement of the author.

This is 269 Leigham Court Road in Streatham, currently sheltered housing, with 45 flats that are home to 50 residents, all over the age of 60, all on secure tenancies. Despite being designed by architect Kate Macintosh specifically to house elderly people, a duty it has performed since 1975, in January 2013 Lambeth Council suddenly declared the estate ‘unfit for purpose’, told residents that it was too expensive to do the repairs and maintenance they had neglected for years, and declared the site was to be ‘sold as cleared land.’

Read the rest of this entry »


Why Open Garden Estates?

The aim [is] to help banish the myth of council estates as concrete jungles that are home to anti-social behaviour and crime, and show them to be what they are – some of the last instances of community living left in London, and perhaps the only remaining places where the mixed communities we hear so much about in the speeches of politicians have a chance to survive the encroachment of gated ghettos of predominantly white, middle-class wealth.

Read the rest of this entry »


BBC/Oxford Film and Television/Lorian Reed-Drake

“I want to discover what made the terrace Britains home of choice and why they’re still as devoted to these houses as their first inhabitants were well over a century ago.”

This week’s programme examines the development of the terraced house in the Liverpool district of Toxteth during the 19th century. As the city grew as a port, its population expanded both with the rural exodus and the influx of Irish migrants fleeing the potato famine.

Read the rest of this entry »


I think it needs to be known how Lambeth Council behave when confronted with alternative proposals to their demolition plans to the estates in the borough over which they presently have political control.

If you don’t follow ASH on Twitter or are not a member of the Facebook group or read their blog you will probably not be aware of the hostility they are up against on a day to day basis in putting forward an alternative method of dealing with the housing situation in Lambeth.

Once again therefore, rightly or wrongly, I feel it necessary to publish what happened the night ASH tried to present their alternative proposals for Central Hill to Lambeth Council.

You can read about the presentation itself on their blog here:-

ASH Presentation to Central Hill Estate Residents Engagement Panel

What you’re less likely to read is what follows, as published on the Facebook page. Once again I don’t know if I ought to be doing this but I think you are entitled to know, if you have any interest in the housing situation in London.

Read the rest of this entry »

Programme Name: Dan Cruickshank: At Home With The British - TX: n/a - Episode: Cottages (No. 1 - Cottages) - Picture Shows: Dan Cruickshank - (C) Oxford Film and Television - Photographer: Lorian Reed-Drake

BBC/Oxford Film and Television/Lorian Reed-Drake

“I want to go beyond masonry and mortar and come face to face with residents past and present, I want to understand how they lived and how they transformed buildings into homes.”

In a remarkable programme lasting just one hour Dan Cruickshank traces the development of a Warwickshire village beginning with its entry in the Domesday Book then through 500 years of history to the present day, studying in great detail the transformation of Medieval cottage life to the home comforts we have come to know by way of the chimney stack, glass windows and separate rooms for different functions.

Read the rest of this entry »