The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Robin Hood Gardens: Re-Visions

Exhibition by the Twentieth Century Society at the RIBA4 July to 26 August 2009

As many will already know, the DCMS has upheld the decision not to list Robin Hood Gardens and is about to offer a Certificate of Immunity for the building, which will mean that it cannot be listed for another five years. Of course we are disappointed at the decision, but not surprised – it was always going to be a difficult building to get listed.

All is not lost however, the building is still standing.

Over the past two years the Society has made some significant steps forward. Our campaigning, with both Building Design magazine and the wider architectural profession has shown that many people care passionately about the building. Despite the insistence of Tower Hamlets that RHG will come down, we remain committed to forcing a rethink and convinced that with refurbishment the estate can provide good quality housing.    There has been considerable press coverage saying that the residents want the buildings demolished, however, doubts have been cast on the accuracy of the official consultation process and informal surveys suggest widespread enthusiasm for refurbishment.

The Society now aims to put pressure on Tower Hamlets to re-run the public consultation with proper emphasis on refurbishment. Meanwhile, the economic situation has undermined the viability of the Blackwall Reach Regeneration Project, which relied on the sale of private housing to generate funding.

Alongside the continuing campaign, we have also organised, in collaboration with the RIBA and the University of Greenwich, an exhibition about RHG at the RIBA Gallery, Portland Place entitled, Robin Hood Gardens – Re-Visions. Featuring archive material on the estate, a series of new images from acclaimed architectural photographer Ioana Marinescu and a new documentary film on the estate by NFT student Martin Ginestie. The exhibition will also include recent projects about Robin Hood Gardens completed by diploma students at the University of Greenwich. The exhibition will run from 4th July – 26th August 2009 in Gallery 2, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1. All are welcome.