The Robin Hood Gardens Estate has been ruffling feathers and causing frowns in the world of architecture. This grimy imposing concrete monstrosity/beauty was built in the 60’s by the husband and wife architect team the Smithsons to provide social housing with all the misguided/brilliant intentions of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation. The result is this example of Brutalist architecture now rubber-stamped for demolition.
There are those that want to save the estate and preserve it as a historical landmark. Starchitects like Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid would like to see the building saved. On the flip-side of the debate are the residents who actually live here, 75% of which support the demolition.
Hiro is a fan of Brutalist architecture. He is also completely, peculiarly infatuated with high-rise council estates and is well on his way to becoming a bit of an expert in this curious field. This is why we spent Sunday mooching a housing estate. It is easy for him to see some beauty and wonderment here.
Hiro’s opinion; “I totally understand and agree that residents should have a say in the outcome of the estate but it is important to preserve beautiful architecture. I feel a rennovation project which retained the external appearence of the building would have been a better option, even though it would be much cheaper to knock it down and start afresh”
For me, this is a bruck-down, grimy block that is stuck by a big stinking road that makes it quite depressing and I am sure that many of the residents will be really pleased to be offered new homes. At the same time, the Barbican Estate, shares the same Brutalist council housing roots as this and look how that turned out. Knocking Robin Hood Gardens down and building swanky apartments will just make it a dumb-ass, soulless block by a big stinking road and even more depressing and I think we SHOULD protect our Brutalist buildings.