Highs and lows

Join the dots. Tower Block: ‘Documenting and disseminating information about the postwar mass housing drive‘ is a project by Miles Glendinning, also the co-author of the magesterial (and now extremely rare and expensive) survey, Tower Block: Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (although happily there is a pdf of the book on the site). See also the 10 best tower blocks in Britain. It’s a bit late for tower blocks. Celebrate architecture’s social function, not just its form; Hatherley argues that the aesthetic limitations of system built housing is being used to justify the kind of demolition and reconstruction that is gutting the existing demographic fabric of inner London communities. At the same time, the brick-clad tasteful, retrained, refined and unobtrustive ‘modernist aesthetic‘ is the default style for the new breed of investment-architecture that is replacing it. Related, How the paintbrush mafia have ruined Shoreditch, an extended whinge from a developer about the wrong kind of gentrification and the shifting definition of the ‘creative classes’.

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