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    New London Housing

    by Kenneth Powell

    In the past few years, London has seen the emergence of well publicized millennium projects, drawing the world's attention to the city as an architectural mecca. But design innovation is in more than just the high-profile public structures of the Great Court at the British Museum, the Millennium Bridge, or the Millennium Dome. Less publicized trends are visible in the realm of low-rise multifamily residential architecture. Kenneth Powell explains how they exemplify London's skill at blending new and old. — Editor

    Mass-housing developers in London now routinely commission schemes that, a decade ago, would have seemed impossibly leading edge and unsaleable (even if they were to gain planning consent). Perhaps it is the shift towards the public domain and towards a balance between social and commercial gain that has made Londoners look at architecture and architects and even developers in a less cynical light.

    London is even now not the grandest of the world's capitals. As Ian Nairn wrote in 1964, "it does not make a display of its best things." Yet ordinariness is steadily becoming a rare quality as the tide of growth and investment and the fame conferred by literature and films permeates even the more obscure parts of the capital how long before Hugh Grant stars in a romantic drama set in Neasden or Catford?   >>>

     
    This article is excerpted from New London Architecture by Kenneth Powell, with permission of Merrell Publishers.

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    ArchWeek Image

    The Peabody Housing, Murray Grove, London, designed by Cartwright Pickard Architects, was constructed on a tight schedule using prefabricated components.
    Photo: Cartwright Pickard Architects

    ArchWeek Image

    The five-story Murray Grove building has multifamily apartment access via exterior galleries.
    Photo: Cartwright Pickard Architects

     

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