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 »

London Journal pdfs

August 12th, 2016

Alice Coleman


Planned Housing as a Social Trap

Read the rest of this entry »

I keep an eye on various commentators to the Guardian. Presstheredbutton is one of them. I don’t agree with everything they write but when I do I think it’s worth repeating here:-

As the results of the local elections and mayoral elections were being announced, Polly’s colleague, Anne Perkins, identified the Bristol mayoral election as the real test of Corbyn’s leadership. Marvin Rees, the Labour candidate, won handsomely. Perkins’ response? Silence.
When the mass resignation of Labour’s front bench happened, the aim was to cripple Corbyn’s shadow cabinet.

Read the rest of this entry »

“The problem isn’t that half the country are racists, it’s that the racists now think that half the country agrees with them.” – Anon

Thank you. I am a journalist I also write a column for The Guardian once every two weeks I haven’t really got enough to say to write one once a week.

But I’m not a columnist I think we’ve probably got too many columnists in this country and we’ve not got enough journalists.


We certainly haven’t got enough reporters. [pause] That’s what I do.

Read the rest of this entry »

Another look at migration

July 4th, 2016

I found this the other day while browsing some Facebook pages I link to. While one hears from time to time about the New Labour Polish influx in 2004 it’s easy to forget about the effect that had on the country unless you go to buy a coffee of course. When’s the last time you were served by somebody British born?

I’m certainly not a racist and I spent half my working life traveling the world so I’m not going accept lessons on foreign cultures and their problems. But I think the text below by Simon Elmer is a well written and timely reminder of how immigration has altered our country.

Read the rest of this entry »

The fight for the Left

July 2nd, 2016


The events of the last seven days have been so tumultuous and the determination of Jeremy Corbyn to stay in place for the people who support him so tenacious, in spite of all the forces ranged against him that the situation necessitates a temporary but different emphasis on the blog so I’ve shunted the student reading list off to its original home while I accumulate relevant links and quotes to put here.



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.

On Youtube here The Flat

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 »