A walking tour around the estate built for the 1951 Festival of Britain, ending at the foot of Erno Goldfinger’s Brutalist Balfron Tower.
The Festival of Britain was branded a ‘Tonic to the Nation’ at a time when the promise of post-war reconstruction of east London was still to be realised. The Lansbury Estate exemplifies the new faith in town planning. The philosophy of the design was that new development should comprise neighbourhoods, and that within the neighbourhood should be all that a community required - flats, houses, churches, schools, an old people's home, a pedestrianised shopping area and covered market. The Brutalist Balfron Tower, by contrast, is one of London’s best examples of high-rise development inspired by 20th Century Modernism.
This tour will reflect on these contrasting examples of state planning to provide homes for people, and see examples of London’s current approach to meeting London’s housing needs.
Your guide for this tour is Michael Owens, urban planner and lecturer and co-founder of London Urban Visits. In 2001, he helped organise the Lansbury Festival to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the development of the estate.
Meeting point: At the fountain in front of Chrisp Street Idea Store,
1 Vesey Path East India Dock Road, London E14 6BT
Cost £25.50. Tour duration 2 hours approx
New dates added to the programme soon
"An unfamiliar area of London for me, excellent guides with a wealth of knowledge of social housing history"
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