Dirty Modern Scoundrel has highlighted the JR James Archive on Flickr. James was Professor of Town and Regional Planning and Chief Planner at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and took a huge amount of photos of British architecture, and by the looks of things had a particular interest in brutalist architecture. The collection, brought together by the University of Sheffield, has loads of photos, maps and plans and is a very good way to lose a few hours as you work your way through this chronicle of post-war British town planning. Read the rest of this entry »
A ‘ghost estate’ refers to an unoccupied housing estate. The term has been used, and seen, widely in Ireland. The ‘Celtic Tiger’ years from 1995 to 2008 saw a huge amount of economic growth in Ireland. This led to a housing surplus, made much worse with the global economic downturn from 2008 on. There were a lot of houses, and nobody willing or able to buy them. Read the rest of this entry »
An excellent documentary, and an excellent entry point to Ian Nairn – after watching this you’ll probably find yourself trawling YouTube for more original footage. Here was a man who fought against the destruction of old towns, yet did not consider himself a conservationist. A man who railed against the follies of town planners, but who could appreciate decent modern architecture. This programme also harks back to a time when TV could just be a passionate, articulate and informed person speaking to camera without any gimmicks, and could still be compelling and vital.
Last Saturday we headed out for Open House Weekend. For those unfamiliar with the concept, every year a selection of London’s buildings are opened up to the public, to visit for free. It is opportunity to visit venues that usually charge an entrance fee, or a little more intriguingly, visit places that aren’t usually open for the public to just wander around. Read the rest of this entry »