Sunday, 30 September 2012


Tomorrow evening I'm going to talk about my work at Nottingham Trent University, for a group of architects, planners, historians, students and others who are associated with a project called 'Failed Architecture', and who are researching the history and current state of the Willoughby Street flats at Lenton, Nottingham, in a five-day workshop from the 1st until the 5th of October (see

Nottingham’s Labour-controlled city council predictably considers the Lenton flats to be 'obsolete and outdated', but this workshop will hopefully "try to answer questions such as as why these flats have to go, why some people resist the redevelopment plans, and especially, how it came to all this."

The flats, designed by the city's first architect, David Jenkin, and completed around 1967, can be seen above in a photo from the October 1 1969 edition of The Architects' Journal in an image that is infused with the usual carefully landscaped hope for the future (complete with a 'station wagon' in the corner - why don't they make 'station wagons' anymore?). Adrian Jones, in a piece on Nottingham within his always rational and uniformly excellent website, Jones the Planner, rightly refers to the Lenton flats as being greener than any new 'starter home' private development (see 

Adrian is spot on - the Willoughby Street flats were landscaped like a mini Alton East. But this counts for little to a neo-Blairite 'what can we do, these are hard times' council who are determined that this estate is to be demolished and - as far as I can tell - without any prospect of any new replacement 'social housing' being built there - shame and shame again. 

1 comment:

  1. Not only a shame an incredibly poor investment when people need all the homes they can get. Perhaps refurbishment would go some way to updating these homes. I'm not against redevelopment but it should be an improvement (in terms of numbers and facilities) to what went before.