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Wednesday30 July 2014

Demolition starts at Robin Hood Gardens site

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First phase includes construction of 98 new homes

Work has started to demolish the north-eastern end of the Blackwall Reach regeneration site, which includes the Smithson’s Robin Hood Gardens estate.

The first phase of work will see the construction of 98 new homes, a new community centre and a new public square and the homes will be used to ‘decant’ residents from the existing estate.

Robin Hood Gardens

Source: Morley von Sternberg

Robin Hood Gardens

Lutfur Rahman, mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The demolition works mark a huge milestone in this development, and will pave the way for the construction of new homes over the coming months.”

The start of demolition follows the granting of outline planning permission for the whole scheme in March 2012, and a subsequent detailed application for phase 1A which was submitted by Swan and granted planning permission in December 2012.

Aedas and Horden Cherry Lee worked on the masterplan for the scheme and a new design team is now being sought for further phases.

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Readers' comments (8)

  • Wasteful vandalism!

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  • This disgraceful act of vandalism will forever be part of British architectural history, and the name of Margaret Hodge, who turned it down for listing, will forever be associated with this catastrophic cultural failure.

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  • What a tragedy & a callous disregard for quality design and well considered public space. This is (was) a great building by Peter Smithson and this sets an ugly precedent: architects, please increase the project banality, the duller & blander, arbitrarily costlier & irrelevant you make your building, the more likely your project will get built

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  • This makes me unspeakably sad.

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  • It ought to make you unspeakably angry.

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  • Hodge bodge plods on!!! This was the shrieking socialist siren that ran Islington way back when, in head-on conflict with the Government of the time. They don't grow old gracefully and usually die from serious overdoses of self justification!!! Bring it on Maggie Mark 2 : your time is up ? Shame nobody had sufficient initiative to hand the building over to the Notting Hill Housing Trust who seem capable of mitigating and initiating change in important 20th century buildings! Go see the Isokon Building in Lawn Road NW3.

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  • If this building had been in NW3 or somewhere "posh", the luvvies would have been climbing over themselves to buy the flats. Alas, that particular part of Tower Hamlets doesn't seem to be fashionable enough.

    When we consider the importance of the Smithsons and more in general, the activitites of Team 10, I'm still aghast at the fact that this seminally important project is just being bulldozed by those happy-looking idiots in the photograph that heads up this article.

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  • Robin Hood Gardens did encapsulate some pretty bad ideas, but it was also an attempt to respond to over-crowded population in london in 1960s, family and kinship in east london, shared balconies = cruise ship.

    The idea of a central space, to involve the community is a good one, and their tees pudding concept, but the fact the building alienated itself from the rest of london, meant this couldn't work from the start. Suprising they didnt think of this, considering the amount of psychological books P Smithson wrote, most of it nonsense.

    to completely knock this down, is sending a message out to architects that build something today, it will be gone tomorrow, no legacy, no consideration, and listing should not be solely based on something people "like". Therefore a very careful re-adaptation should be required, and the building improved, and considered within its original design, not bulldosing it into submission.

    Classic example, again of people making the decisions, not fully understanding the implications involved, poor leadership in general.

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