n estate was built by the Greater London

n its ruggedness and lack of concern to look comfortable or easy, Brutalism can be seen as a reaction by a younger generation to the lightness, optimism, and frivolity of some 1930s and 1940s architecture. The term Brutalism came to refer to the functional raw concrete buildings emerging in the UK, and London in particular, in the post-war period. Due to the relatively low cost of concrete and energy, Brutalism was popular for rebuilding government buildings and providing social housing in the period of social solidarity following the Second World War. The estate was built by the Greater London Council, but subsequently Tower Hamlets Council became the landlord. The site first became available for redevelopment in 1962 by the then London County Council (LCC), succeeded in 1965 by the Greater London Council (GLC). 2It was built with panels of pre-cast concrete and is comprised of two horizontal concrete blocks which include a total of 214 apartments. There are one and two story apartments in both buildings, which bend slightly inwards, hugging the urban garden between them. In order to allow in more southern light, one of the buildings is ten stories high, while the other is seven stories.The Millenium Green in the center includes a rising hill created by the remnants from construction. This communal space for the residents is an essential part of Robin Hood Gardens for the Smithsons who were intent on improving people’s lives through design. Robin Hood Gardens was seen as their chance to prove this vision for progressive social housing. However, there also seemed to be traces of nervousness.In The Smithsons on Housing (BBC 2, 1970), a BBC television documentary about the Smithsons from 1970, just when Robin Hood Gardens had begun with construction, the Architects are clearly torn between a sense of obligation and despair. There is a sense of preparation against its inevitable ruin by vandals and neglect by the council. 3 Cut to four years later, in her extraordinary essay “The Violent Consumer”, Alison says, “The architect-urbanist might well ask if the socialist welfare state is actually what is wanted by the very people for whom it was intended,”. She rages against ungrateful tenants who are unwilling to defend “their rented bit of the socialistdemocratic dream”. 4 

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