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Old March 23rd, 2012, 02:02 AM   #461
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rundown and deprived are very different things.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 02:58 AM   #462
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-- Swan To Submit Plans For Phase 1 of Robin Hood Gardens Redevelopment (12th Nov, 2012) --

A detailed plan for phase one of the redevelopment of the Robin Hood Gardens estate in the Blackwall Reach area of Poplar will be submitted this week to Tower Hamlets council.

Opinion about Robin Hood Gardens, which is an example of the 'brutalist' architecture style, has been divided since it was developed in the 1960s by husband and wife team Alison and Peter Smithson. After consultation with the people who lived on the estate, it was decided that a total redevelopment would be the best thing to do.

Swan was selected by Tower Hamlets Council to develop the site once a campaign by prominent architects (who seemed to be in the vast minority of people who liked the existing building) to save the building had been lost.

Consultations have been ongoing with residents and stakeholders in area since the summer of 2011 for the first phase of the £500 million project.

'Phase 1a' of the Blackwall Reach regeneration applies to land at the north west of the Blackwall Reach site, north of Woolmore Street, between Robin Hood Lane and Cotton Street and the north east of Bullivant Street.

The application includes plans to provide:
  • 98 new homes to mostly decanted residents and address the over-crowding of homes earmarked for demolition in future phases of project;
  • A new replacement mosque for the Poplar Mosque
  • A new community centre of circa 500 sq. m.
  • A housing office for Swan
  • A public square linking the mosque, community centre and Woolmore School; and
  • Improved public realm, landscaping and play space.
Outline planning consent was granted earlier this year. The overall scheme will see 1,575 homes built at the site, including 700 'affordable' homes, with 80% of these for social rent.

John Synnuck, Chief Executive of Swan, said: "This application includes some important detail about the first phase of the Blackwall Reach Regeneration Project. The application has been submitted after a comprehensive period of consultation between Swan, Tower Hamlets Council and the Homes and Communities Agency and the local community. It represents an important milestone in Swan's ongoing commitment to the regeneration of the Blackwall Reach area."

The application has important implications for residents living at Blackwall Reach and who wish to remain in the area. Many of the residents are expected to move to the newly built homes when they are completed in March 2015.
~~

-- Aedas puts in ‘banal’ Robin Hood Gardens scheme to planners (visit link for images) --

Campaigners have condemned the first detailed plans of the £500 million regeneration of Robin Hood Gardens as “dull-looking” and “banal”.

Aedas submitted the proposals, which will sit at the northern end of the wider Blackwall Reach site in east London, to Tower Hamlets council this week. It includes 98 new homes, a community centre, a mosque, a new square and a housing office for the Swan Housing Group. When complete the homes will be used to “decant” residents from the existing Robin Hood Gardens, which will be demolished.

In March 2012 the council gave outline planning permission for the project, which will see up to 1,700 new homes built including 700 affordable units.

In August the council approved a compulsory purchase order for the redevelopment of the 1970s estate by Alison and Peter Smithson.
~~



Rotten Utopia is a film concerning Robin Hood Gardens and its residents. Robin Hood Gardens is a 1970s brutalist social housing estate in East London. A campaign was mounted in 2008, by the architectural press, to list Robin Hood Gardens. This was to save the building from the council’s plan to knock it down. The estate is it is on valuable land that would be perfect for redevelopment as it is located close to Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park.

For the past 5 years the the residents of Robin Hood Gardens have felt a frustrating uncertainty over their future. In March 2012, the council confirmed that Robin Hood Gardens would be razed and that its residents would be dispersed. The film highlights the complexities of the social and economic motivations behind bulldozing the estate, and it exposes the intervention (or non-intervention) that the council and developers have made. Rotten Utopia documents the impact felt by the residents as a result of the promised demolition.

Filmed - 1st November 2012

~~

Rotten Utopia: residents of Robin Hood Gardens on their love for the estate

-- Link to BD Online article --

Rotten Utopia is a response to a project brief by Masters students at Central Saint Martins. Students from across the Masters programmes were split into small, multidisciplinary groups to research, shoot and edit a five-minute video in a day and a half.

The group members behind this film were: Hsi-Yang Hsieh from MA Industrial Design, Maylinda Bhakdithanaseth from MA Jewellery Design, Sarah Gold from MA Industrial Design, Susan Francis from MA Textile Futures, Thomas Kranabetter from MA Communication Design and Xiaojing Li from MA Communication Design.

The brief asked the students to interrogate somewhere in London that might be a non-place, and make an intervention to discover what relationship people have with space and what gives a place identity. The group chose to interview residents of Robin Hood Gardens whose homes are under threat of demolition.

The students interviewed and filmed residents and staff at Robin Hood Gardens to understand how they felt about the estate and the uncertainty of the plans for the future. “They expressed their attachment to the place - their homes and neighbourhood,” said group member Sarah Gold.

“Only the caretaker supported demolition because of the blight, the fragmented community and the anti-social behaviour of the squatters that now inhabit many of the empty flats.

“We came to appreciate the place: the growing gardens, the sense of security in the park, and views over London from the Olympic park to the millennium dome. Even though the fabric of the buildings has been neglected, the place was clean, green and friendly. Inside, the flats were homely and comfortable. Now fragmented, the multi cultural community is still showing some resilience.


“Our project addressed the issue of place and space exposing the intervention that the council, professions and developers have made. It also documents the deterioration that has occurred as a result of the council’s lack of intervention when it was needed.”
~~

Deadline looms for Robin Hood Gardens

-- Link to BD Online article --

Swan Housing Association has called for expressions of interest in the next stage of the £500 million Blackwall Reach regeneration project, which involves demolishing the Robin Hood Gardens estate.

Leading architects have called for a boycott of the project in protest at the demolition of the Smithsons-designed iconic structure.

Swan, working with Tower Hamlets Council and the Greater London Authority, are seeking architects with experience in residential-led regenration projects to deliver 1,570 new homes, commercial space and large areas of public space. Expressions of Interest are due by November 30.

Speaking to BD earlier this year, Jonathan Sergison of Sergison Bates said: “If we were asked to do the job we would say no. There is a certain type of work you shouldn’t accept. The demolition of a seminal building is one of the instances where no is the right answer.”

Adam Khan said: “It does seem a scandalous waste of a building that could be used. We wouldn’t want to be involved in a project that involved its destruction,” he said. “In this country, things get polarised into either complete preservation or demolition. Neither of those approaches are very fulfilling.”


A detailed planning application for phase 1a of the project, designed by Aedas, was submitted earlier this month (pictured below).

It included 98 homes intended to house the decanted residents of the existing estate prior to demolition, a mosque, a 500sq m community centre, a housing office for Swan and public realm development.

However, the project is already behind schedule - the first phase was actually due for submission in early summer with a view to winning approval before Autumn and starting work on site before the end of 2012 according to the official Blackwall Reach website.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #463
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Robin Hood Gardens should be saved.......under the condition that all those Architects and campaigners wanting to save it, live there.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 12:08 PM   #464
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Quote:
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Robin Hood Gardens should be saved.......under the condition that all those Architects and campaigners wanting to save it, live there.
Iím sure they would. Like Park Hill and the Trellick tower , once these places are actually done up and not left to neglect they could very easily become desirable.

Everyone including those who welcome its demolition should be very worried as the plans for the first phase donít bode well at all , the design is of the lowest common denominator, cheap and nasty and destined to be the next sink estate and if thatís the limit of their ambition for the site then you have to be seriously concerned for the remaining phases.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 12:48 PM   #465
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Iím sure they would. Like Park Hill and the Trellick tower , once these places are actually done up and not left to neglect they could very easily become desirable.

Everyone including those who welcome its demolition should be very worried as the plans for the first phase donít bode well at all , the design is of the lowest common denominator, cheap and nasty and destined to be the next sink estate and if thatís the limit of their ambition for the site then you have to be seriously concerned for the remaining phases.
No they wouldn't, be serious, Architects would NEVER live in places like Robin Hood Gardens, not in a million years. They live in Georgian or Victorian houses in places like Primrose Hill. RHG are just their experiments, not for themselves.
In my profession I know and meet lots of Architects and NONE live in places like RHG I can assure you.
As for it's replacement? why not follow the Kidbrooke regeneration example! Why are you assuming it's replacement will probably be a future sink estate? You must have low expectations and faith in todays Architects and planners.........but then again I wouldn't blame you looking the track record of contemporary Architecture and planning!
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Old November 27th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #466
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You only have to look at the plans to see what this development will become, look across the road at the 'luxury' flats.

I agree with London Lad that given the right treatment, landscaping and reconfiguring this could have been a hugely popular place to live. The trouble is any new apartments are guaranteed to have thin walls, small rooms, cheap fittings and a view of traffic.

A missed oppurtunity to show what can be done with investment and imagination.

Trellick tower is the perfect example.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #467
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellvis View Post
No they wouldn't, be serious, Architects would NEVER live in places like Robin Hood Gardens, not in a million years. They live in Georgian or Victorian houses in places like Primrose Hill. RHG are just their experiments, not for themselves.
In my profession I know and meet lots of Architects and NONE live in places like RHG I can assure you.
As for it's replacement? why not follow the Kidbrooke regeneration example! Why are you assuming it's replacement will probably be a future sink estate? You must have low expectations and faith in todays Architects and planners.........but then again I wouldn't blame you looking the track record of contemporary Architecture and planning!

Why are you assuming it's replacement will probably be a future sink estate? Because I have seen the plans for the first phase and they are dire.
They are nothing like the replacements for the Heygate or Alysebury Estates instead current plans designed by a large conglomerate that does commercial architecture. TH being as useless as ever doesnít seem to know what good estate design should be these days so the end result will probably be a nasty looking estate that in 20 years time will be seen as a an example as to how not to do a large urban design project..

Not sure what your line of work is but you do realise Architecture is not a well paid profession so 99% of them donít live in Georgian houses in Primrose Hill. Many lower ranking Architects and designers would jump at the chance to live in a refurbished estate of this kind. You only have to look at Park Hill, the Barbican, Trellick and Brunswick to see this is the case.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #468
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the end result will probably be a nasty looking estate that in 20 years time will be seen as a an example as to how not to do a large urban design project..
So a fairly predicatable outcome for budged constrained redevelopment these days. At least it will be up to date ugly dross for a while and can be added to the carousel of redevelop- fail - try again - redevelop - fail - try again that might eventually deliver a success (of which there are a few examples thankfully and normally when a decent budget is available). The alternative is to stick with the mess that we have in perpetuity. I used to likve near there when I first lived in London and believe me, there is nothing uplifting about the appearance of the building and the area is bloody dodgy - want drugs, go to RHG.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #469
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RHG are just their experiments, not for themselves.
The architects are dead.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #470
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Quote:
Originally Posted by london lad View Post
Why are you assuming it's replacement will probably be a future sink estate? Because I have seen the plans for the first phase and they are dire.
They are nothing like the replacements for the Heygate or Alysebury Estates instead current plans designed by a large conglomerate that does commercial architecture. TH being as useless as ever doesnít seem to know what good estate design should be these days so the end result will probably be a nasty looking estate that in 20 years time will be seen as a an example as to how not to do a large urban design project..

Not sure what your line of work is but you do realise Architecture is not a well paid profession so 99% of them donít live in Georgian houses in Primrose Hill. Many lower ranking Architects and designers would jump at the chance to live in a refurbished estate of this kind. You only have to look at Park Hill, the Barbican, Trellick and Brunswick to see this is the case.
True 99% of 'Architects' are detailers doing the boring stuff like door and iron mongery schedules etc I know and maybe they cannot afford Primrose hill or Hampstead I accept....but the Architects of the 1% (the ones I mean) are the ones that design the buildings of tomorrow in which WE have to live and occupy and suffer the consequences of the environment that THEY give us, they are the ones that live in converted windmills and oast houses etc (yes OK OK maybe a bit OTT with that)...but anyway I think you know what I mean.
The point is by the sound of it the people who actually live there at RHG want it demolished, and as far as I am concerned that is good enough reason to send in the wrecking ball. That said it's replacement is a worry if the standard of Architect planned is what you say, that is not good. JEEZ how long does it take to learn from past mistakes, good housing design should be straight forward it's not rocket science, give people somewhere NICE to live!!!!!
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Old November 27th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #471
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The architects are dead.
Really....... I wonder what their headstones are like, Brutal concrete, or marble...that would be interesting to know.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 11:28 PM   #472
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Quote:
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JEEZ how long does it take to learn from past mistakes, good housing design should be straight forward it's not rocket science, give people somewhere NICE to live!!!!!
If you're dealing with LBTH planning dept..NEVER....the head of that useless division (that has over the past 10yrs accrued 996,000 MILLION pounds on 106 agreement...which for the life of me I can only assume has been thouroughly mispent and/or gone into LBTH greater pension pot, cause I can't see much of it being spent here in Poplar) spends more time in designing and refining his Don Quixote signature, than check and champion good architecture and landcaping for the borough that pay his wages or indeed care about the turn over of staff that come and go from that division faster than a fast food joint.........
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Old December 24th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #473
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Urban Splash has done wonders to Park Hill in Sheffield I still find the general mass and scale of these buildings ugly.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #474
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Great link Seratin you knober.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 12:08 AM   #475
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellvis View Post
No they wouldn't, be serious, Architects would NEVER live in places like Robin Hood Gardens, not in a million years. They live in Georgian or Victorian houses in places like Primrose Hill. RHG are just their experiments, not for themselves.
In my profession I know and meet lots of Architects and NONE live in places like RHG I can assure you.
As for it's replacement? why not follow the Kidbrooke regeneration example! Why are you assuming it's replacement will probably be a future sink estate? You must have low expectations and faith in todays Architects and planners.........but then again I wouldn't blame you looking the track record of contemporary Architecture and planning!

I am an architect I would very much love to live a in a refurbished Robin Hood Gardens apartment. I live in a (dreadful) victorian conversion which I hate with all my heart.

I do not know how accurate are these figures but according to wikipedia the substitute for Robin Hood Gardens has six times more flats in the same site. Six times!!! from the current 252 to the proposed 1700 apartments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Hood_Gardens

This is the ultimate (and actually the only) reason for demolishing (instead of refurbishing) this wonderful building. If the original architects would have gone for more density this building would be safe. The architects were just too generous in open spaces and amenities for the residents.

The current Robin Hood Gardens aren't what would be described as "low rise" so I just don't see how a seven fold increase in density will not be a loss in open spaces and general services.

The place where I live is also low density. It seems that only (dreadful) old buildings are allowed to have open spaces and amenities. I am sure there would be a campaign to save the building I live in if anyone proposed to demolish it and multiply by seven the number of apartments on the site. People are simply this ignorant.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 01:16 AM   #476
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For me, this is a building that dehumanizes its residents. If a private consortium of architects would like to renovate and populate the building, that's fine by me. But Rogers has no right to defend this building when he lives in two conjoined Victorian terraces in Chelsea.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 02:00 AM   #477
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Robin Hood Gardens demolition should be given to the RAF to practise surgical strike bombing in urban areas. It would save the money spent on a demolition company, and give the air force a rare chance to evaluate the effectiveness of their weapons on a real target. It would also provide a great show for locals, and likely prove a YouTube hit. What's not to love?
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Old December 27th, 2012, 02:06 AM   #478
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Will you be inside it at the time?
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Old December 27th, 2012, 02:15 AM   #479
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Quote:
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Robin Hood Gardens demolition should be given to the RAF to practise surgical strike bombing in urban areas. It would save the money spent on a demolition company, and give the air force a rare chance to evaluate the effectiveness of their weapons on a real target. It would also provide a great show for locals, and likely prove a YouTube hit. What's not to love?
The scattering of dead bodies mostly. "Surgical strikes" from aircraft don't really exist, they're a fantasy designed to make bombing civilian areas in foreign countries more palatable to the public.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 02:15 AM   #480
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@Concrete
Sorry to disappoint you, but no. However I'll be nearby, toasting the spectacle with a glass of champagne. :-)

@Ebeneezer
I wasn't suggesting we bomb it with residents in situ, though that is certainly one approach we may consider for dealing with sink estates. ;-)

Surgical strikes are certainly possible. Modern missiles and bombs hit targets reliably and with great accuracy. It's called into question when civilians are killed nonetheless, but such instances are nearly always due to faulty intelligence.
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Last edited by Langur; December 27th, 2012 at 02:23 AM.
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