Today in architecture: Knock down towers, build streets

Unite d'habitation, Firminy, France

So long for Le Corbusier's famous streets in the sky!

Lead image: Corb's Unité d’Habitation, Firminy, France from Archiseek

Arch-Tory think-tank Policy Exchange today issued a policy document apparently describing how:

Quote:
Create Streets shows how demolishing high rise social housing blocks and replacing them with real streets made up of low rise flats and terraced housing would improve the lives of thousands of people who suffer from living in multi-storey housing.

In conjunction with a front campaign labelled Create Streets and a terrible website, the document calls for the end to tower building and a return to terraced rows of housing. Sidestepping the issue of massive under investment in council housing of the late 20th century Policy Exchange label the projects universally unpopular.

The report was pretty much universally slammed on Twitter by urban professionals and commentators:

The report couldn't be more timely with last week's controversial pushing through of Elephant & Castle's regeneration scheme. Not to mention discussion of the Bedroom Tax which looks to come into action in a few months time.


Image Trowbridge Estate demolition Hackney Wick via Wick Curiosity Shop.

Posted By

Jacques Roux
Jan 25 2013 22:02

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Cooked
Jan 26 2013 00:12

Sounds like they are about to do the same mistake as the moderns. Identify problem, find radical solution, displace people, destroy communities, avoid sorting your society out, make shitloads of money for your pals in the process.

Fifty years down the line... "Pitched roofs to blame for crime", "lack of light in ground floor living spaces breed pestilence" and it starts all over again.

I wonder what their policy is towards those more or less recent, tall and butt ugly "luxury" blocks of flats down by Canary Wharf. Or the refurbed gated ones like the one on Temple Street E2.

That Harvey book "Rebel Cities" which is a bit crap but it goes into the role of these sort of initiatives from an economic perspective.

edit: Those Corbusier towers in the model aren't housing by the way, they are offices.

borzoj
Jan 27 2013 18:19

Worth pointing out that most ongoing estate redevelopment projects substantially increase density by increasing height of the buildings.
For example redevelopment of Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar would replace 300 something flats with 1700. Currently the higher of two blocks is 10 floors high. There is an image of the proposed new buildings at the bottom of this articles:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/dec/05/robin-hood-gardens-east-london
They are clearly much taller than that.

Jacques Roux
Jan 28 2013 13:07
Cooked wrote:
I wonder what their policy is towards those more or less recent, tall and butt ugly "luxury" blocks of flats down by Canary Wharf. Or the refurbed gated ones like the one on Temple Street E2.

Yeah or any number of awfully shit shoebox developments going up all over London...

Dalston from http://opendalston.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/barratt-to-complete-dalston-square.html

Cooked wrote:
Iedit: Those Corbusier towers in the model aren't housing by the way, they are offices.

Yup, sorry overly hasty image searching!