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28

www.concrete.org.uk

M

ǘǰ ǻǹǺȀ

concrete

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

façade.

(Photo:James Lawrence.)

Left: Fluted diving boards

at the Aquatics Centre.

(Photo:LOCOG.)