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Wigglesworth unveils Robin Hood Gardens rescue rival

[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] Sarah Wigglesworth Architects has unveiled this alternative scheme for the redevelopment of Alison and Peter Smithson’s doomed Robin Hood Gardens

Currently facing demolition as part of plans to create up to 1,600 new homes on its east London site, the 1972 housing estate remains the focus of an ongoing Twentieth Century Society-led campaign for its survival.

Sarah Wigglesworth Architects’ proposal, launched in tandem with the society’s new book Robin Hood Gardens – Re-Visions, sets out a vision for the refurbishment and reconfiguration of the structure’s dilapidated 213 flats.

Wigglesworth explained: ‘Our starting point is that demolition would be a terrible and unnecessary waste of resources. Our proposals show that it is possible to retain Robin Hood Gardens, while making adaptations that meet residents’ current and future needs.

‘As well as being more environmentally sustainable, doing so would be more socially sustainable as communities that have settled and developed over many years could stay and grow together.

‘We have also shown that retention can be economically sustainable by using the building as efficiently as possible and thereby enhancing its value. I hope our proposals will help the Twentieth Century Society’s campaign to secure a viable future for Robin Hood Gardens.’

Catherine Croft, Twentieth Century Society director, added:  ‘The campaign remains ongoing, because although threatened with demolition the buildings still stand, and whilst they remain there is still hope that commonsense will prevail and refurbishment will be seen as a more humane, more environmentally responsible solution than destruction.’

Tower Hamlets Council last month delayed a vote to select a design team for the £500 million Robin Hood Gardens redevelopment project.

Residents meanwhile voted in favour of an HTA and Squire & Partners-designed proposal, second-placing a scheme masterplanned by Aedas with designs by Jestico & Whiles and Glenn Howells.

Despite the delays, the council plans to start building the first phase of the development later this year.




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