The October Set of my London photos is now available at
Quite a mixed bag of photos this month:
The Alton estate in Roehampton is still one of the largest council estates in the country. It was built in 1958 and 1959. The architects were the London County Council (LCC) Architects Dept. and it was built to help solve the housing problems of the post War world. It is much styled in Le Corbusier style and looks as good as it always did – although the trees are more mature than 1958. I remember reading articles about it in the Observer of the time and how controversial it was – overlooking Richmond Park. There are nearly 3,400 dwellings on the estate and nowadays nearly 42% of them are owner occupied rather than Council properties.
If it had been built today, no doubt they would be posh skyscrapers for rich people. Witness the new NEO Bankside development – next to the Tate Modern extension – designed by Richard Rogers and extremely attractive – but as you can see from my photographs, with apartment from £1.25M to £6.75M – not exactly first time buyer properties!
The Chelsea College of Art (part of the University of the Arts, London whose main campus is nowadays at the new Kings Cross development) is taken from just outside the Tate Britain.
The photographs from the Smith Square area are, of course, from the “politics central” area of Westminster – just a short walk from the Houses of Parliament.
There are some of the Park Royal Industrial Estate, where I once briefly worked during my second job in 1966. Most of the northern part – the Park Royal estate “proper” – has now gone. The old Guinness Brewery (architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott d 1960 – Battersea Power Station, Bankside Power Station, Cambridge University Library, red telephone boxes etc.) has been replaced by the Diageo HQ and they now only brew Guinness in Dublin (probably tastes better for it). Most of the rest of this part has gone, leaving large piles of crushed concrete awaiting new development – but held up, as the area is designated for the HS2 approach in to central London.
The Buxton Fountain in Victoria Tower Gardens is dedicated to the abolition of slavery in Britain in 1834.
The “Women of World War II” memorial in Whitehall was opened in 2005 and, I think, is almost more arresting than the Cenotaph.
The Robert Hooke City of London plaque is not an architectural photo proper – but I do like it and it reminds me of my diagram of Hooke’s Law in my schoolboy physics exercise book.