a comparative analysis in social housing:
priory green and raines court developments
I have chosen to compare and contrast two housing developments that although at different moments in times both represent pioneering housing initiatives in London.
The Priory Green Estate is one of the best examples of post-war modernist social housing. Described by the heritage lottery fund as “an outstanding example of the socialist health and housing policies” and as a development that has “had a major influence on public housing in London”, the estate underwent a £37m regeneration plan in year 1999 conducted by Peabody Trust, one of London’s oldest and largest housing associations (which won a £2m grant from the heritage lottery fund to conserve the estate).
Raines Court is a recent development developed also by the Peabody Trust built using modular technology, “..one of the first examples of prefabricated, high density social housing of its type..”. Its innovative construction technique together with its design quality has won the Peabody Trust several prices, including a RIBA award, being described by the judges as “powerful and uncompromising…a very well considered ambience for urban living…”
Priory Green Estate
Kings Cross, London N1
Fig 1. View of principal block
As a modern architect, Berthold Lubetkin believed in architecture as an instrument for social progress and a way to change people’s behaviour. In 1938 following the demolition of the 19th century housing, Lubetkin and partners (Tecton Group) were commissioned to rebuild Finsbury Council. During World War II the architectural commissions were paralysed but after 1943 several housing schemes, including the Spa Green Estate (1938–46) and the Priory Green Estate (1937–51) were reactivated. Therefore, although designed in 1930’s, Priory Green construction did not start until July 1947 due to arduous negotiations with the council due to budget cuts. After...