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First-ever Span Housing exhibition to appear at the RIBA - image

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The first ever exhibition of Span Housing - seen as one of the most successful attempts at affordable housing since the war - will go on display at the RIBA in November.

The arrival of the show, which will feature the ground-breaking work of Eric Lyons, comes at a time of increasing concern about the design quality of new homes.

Formed in the 1950s when there was an urgent need for housing in Britain, Span built 'extremely well-designed communities of flats and terraced housing' aimed at the professional class.

A key feature of the schemes, the first of which were built in Blackheath (pictured) and Surrey, was the strong emphasis on landscaping.

The projects won handfuls of awards, as did Lyons, who later went onto become RIBA president between 1975 and 1977.

The exhibition will feature original drawings, as well as vintage and new, coloured photographs, and will include every Span project - the most significant being New Ash Green in Kent, developed during the 1960s as a whole Span village.

The show opens on 9 November and runs until 22 December.

by Richard Waite

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