City Crit: Modern Finsbury Housing, March 2020
City Crit: Modern Finsbury Housing, March 2020
City Crit: Modern Finsbury Housing, March 2020

City Crit: Modern Finsbury Housing, March 2020

£15.00

As part of our Modern Housing series, this new walk will focus on the urban neighbourhoods that thread between King’s Cross and Clerkenwell, encompassed by the former Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury until 1965. The tour will uncover a surprising patchwork of typologically ambitious, experimental inter-war and post-war social housing schemes built between the 1930s and 1960s. Typified by the significant involvement of renowned architect Berthold Lubetkin and his practice Tecton, the influence of the practice on Finsbury’s architecturally and socially progressive stance on housing is evident in the four schemes built for the borough.

We will traverse the former borough to reveal a chronological local history of a golden age in municipal building, beginning at Charles Rowan House, commissioned by the Metropolitan Police. We will also visit three of Tecton’s four built projects within the former borough – Finsbury Health Centre, Spa Green Estate and Bevin Court – to contextualise the Finsbury’s radical and socially progressive attitude to public health and housing provision. Exploring Tecton’s legacy, we will conclude at the Weston Rise Estate, which carried through many such spatial and stylistic complexities as the last LCC-designed scheme for Finsbury before it was absorbed into the London Borough of Islington in 1965. 

Leading the tour will be Emma Filippides, an architectural historian, and Ben Rea a practicing architect, who both share a sensitivity for socially-engaged domestic architecture and the powerful resonance that twentieth century modern examples still hold for the urban issues of today.