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Cook’s Camden: The Making of Modern Housing :: Mark Swenarton

  • Burgh House New End Square London, NW3 1LS UK (map)

The housing projects built in Camden in the 1960s and 1970s when Sydney Cook was Borough Architect are widely regarded as the most important urban housing built in the UK in the past 100 years. Cook recruited some of the brightest talent available in London at the time, including Neave Brown, Peter Tábori, and Gordon Benson and Alan Forsyth. The schemes they designed – which included Alexandra Road, Branch Hill, Fleet Road, Highgate New Town and Maiden Lane – command admiration from architects to this day.

The Camden projects represented a new type of urban housing, based on a return to streets with front doors. In place of tower blocks, the Camden architects showed how the required densities could be achieved without building high, creating a new kind of urbanism that integrated with, rather than broke from, its cultural and physical context.

Mark Swenarton’s talk will give a brief presentation of what was involved in this remarkable episode, along with a nutshell account of the principal projects.

Non-members welcome (£1 at the door).