by Stefi Orazi
The story of the building of an iconic mid-century housing estate, that is often seen as the model for housing architecture. Fully illustrated with commissioned photography of the interiors and exteriors, archive images and newly commissioned writing by leading architectural historians, plus interviews with people on the estate to capture their story.
Following World War II, the population in the City of London plummeted, and with a duty to provide housing for those working in the area – such as nurses, policemen and doctors – the City Corporation commissioned architect Geoffry Powell in 1952 to design the Golden Lane Estate. Powell invited Christoph Bon and Jo Chamberlin to join him in developing a detailed design for the Estate. They would later become Chamberlin, Powell & Bon, working on world-renowned projects such as the Barbican Estate and the University of Leeds. Golden Lane Estate, now Grade II and Grade II* listed is often cited as being a model estate.
With its high level of detailing, use of materials, colour, its humane scale, thoughtfulness of space, light, communal spaces, leisure facilities and integrated shops, it is exemplary, particularly for social housing. It was deemed as a success from the off and remains popular today, with many original tenants and/or their families still choosing to live there. What sets the estate apart is the sense of community and neighbourliness which is promoted by the architecture and design.