ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
formed Camden Council’s own architect,
US-born and -educated Neave Brown
applied himself to a radically different format
for urban social housing that would merge all
of these ideas.
The Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate
comprises a number of long, relatively low
blocks, laid parallel to each other and with
a greened space at their centre. The tallest
curves gently for a full 425m, its southern
face stepping back continuously in a series
of terraces as it rises. As a corollary, the rear
of the block cantilevers further out at each
successive level, helping to deflect noise from
a busy railway line.
This stadium section allows each
maisonette or flat to have a bright patio
free from oversailing. Sloping party
walls demarcate individual homes and
contribute to the block’s distinctive aesthetic.
Ingeniously planned to maximise space, the
interiors feature sliding dividers, compact
stairs and shelves, and work surfaces that
are actually part of the structure – another
advantage of concrete.
Above: RHS Lawrence Hall
Left: Fluted diving boards
at the Aquatics Centre.