The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings


Robin Hood Gardens

C20 Director Catherine Croft and Ken Barker discuss Alison and Peter Smithson’s seminal housing estate and the campaign to save it from demolition.

Robin Hood Gardens is a council housing complex in Poplar, London designed in the late 1960s by architects Alison and Peter Smithson. The estate covers about two hectares and consists of two long blocks, one of ten storeys, the other of seven, containing 213 flats, surrounding a landscaped green area and a small hill. The estate is currently threatened with demolition by Tower Hamlets Council. In 2008 the Twentieth Century Society and Building Design magazine mounted a campaign to get Robin Hood Gardens listed as a historical landmark in order to save it from destruction. However, English Heritage did not back the proposal, with its commissioners overruling the advice of its own advisory committee. The fight to save Robin Hood Gardens continues however and the Twentieth Century Society commissioned sounddelivery to create this audio slideshow as part of their continuing campaign to save the buildings.