drawingofficeHigh Rise Dreams

A good article from the 11th in the AJ which makes good if uncomfortable reading for those of us who remember the years before it was all dismantled.

The biggest impact on the profession was the closure of the vast majority of public sector architect departments. In-house council teams had employed thousands of architects across the country.


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The issue of estate regeneration has not gone away, it continues apace and it has been my privilege over the last few years to meet people actively involved in the struggle to keep council tenants in place against the rapacious demands of unscrupulous politicians and boroughs so desperate for cash they sell public land from under the homes of council tenants for the benefit of wealthier incomers.


In recent weeks I have had the pleasure of meeting the residents of and walking around a small estate in South London which is itself now under threat but not withstanding this there is a determined and well informed body of people ready and willing to protect their interests.

It has been a pleasure to devote time and energy to researching and writing up the story of Cressingham Gardens – a village within a city and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading what is my 300th article in four years.

A considered look at artistic composition.

a) a winding path, brook, river or canal which leads the eye into the distance.

Stonebridge Park estate

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This is not intended to be an article, just as a series of links about an interesting architect.

“The production of high-rise council flats was at its height in the 1960s when AW Cleeve Barr, who has died at the age of 89, rose to be the most powerful housing architect in British government service.

As such he fought, but failed, to control the proliferation of contractor-led housing systems, and his reputation was tarnished by public reaction after the collapse in 1968 of Ronan Point. A technocrat with an instinct for social justice and a streak of obstinacy, he had enthusiasms that belied his puritan convictions.”

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“A ghastly and unforseen programme of gentrification undertaken with the excuse of creating mixed communities


* I have been asked by a student of architecture . . .

I want to know what Single Aspect thinks makes a good design for mass housing. Is it a 24h concierge service?

The knowledge base on which this article builds may be found in the two films High Rise Dreams and Homes for Heroes with a more in depth look over two hours in the magnificent City of Towers.

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Today while searching for details of a programme recorded on cassette over twenty years ago I came across the World Service Radio Archive prototype. It is necessary to sign in but having done so you will be treated to a small archive to search, which is available to hear, and some of which is possible to download with a little manipulation.

On reaching the page of interest you can listen to the programme by clicking the arrow provided, and in addition if you right click the page to View Source and then search for mp3 you can right click the link and Save As thus downloading the programme to your computer.

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The student room

September 6th, 2013

In response to:- Do student housing standards need an overhaul? from Building Design online.


A well lit student room – Fitzwilliam Cambridge

In case you haven’t read or are not able to read the article it is an exchange between Michael Chessum President of University of London Union and Dav Bansal Director at Glenn Howells Architects in response to the question in the link above.

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What follows is a compilation of thoughts originally expressed on Twitter. For more context listen to Lucy Kellaway talking about office space in this programme here:-


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The Guardian published a selection of results from the General Household Survey and the graph below caught my eye showing as it does the fall in council housing occupancy over 40 years.

Simon Heffer is a man in love with his subject.  This personal documentary sets the standard by which future documentaries ought be made and stands head and shoulders above many lesser films of recent years.


It is a personal journey through the war films of his youth which dramatised the events of the Second World War and made stars of the actors involved reminding us of the heroism of those they portrayed.

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