In a time of pressing need for more social housing, it was heartening to read Oliver Wainwright’s article (Home truths: The councils building a housing revolution against all the odds, 29 October). But while many local authorities are to be congratulated on how they are managing to deliver such well-designed and well-considered social housing developments, despite difficult financial circumstances and the challenges of right to buy, others are still demolishing excellent examples of progressive postwar estates. This is a waste in social and environmental terms, as well as an architectural loss. For instance, Lambeth council is pressing ahead with its plans to demolish two of the most exceptional postwar social housing schemes in London – the Central Hill estate and Cressingham Gardens – both of which have been earmarked for redevelopment. They were designed and constructed in the late 1960s and 70s by Lambeth Architects’ Department under Ted Hollamby, who became a leader in high-density housing with low buildings, using a variety of unit types to suit different age groups and family sizes. The same creativity and financial ingenuity that the best councils apply to new housing should be applied to renovation and updating these estates. Without this, great architecture… Read full this story
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