Alexandra Road Estate, Camden by Neave Brown
Alexandra Road Estate, Camden
The late Neave Brown was the architect with the vision and commitment to create the Alexandra Road Estate in Camden. Awarded Grade II* listing in 1993, this was a low-level council estate built at the time when high-rise living was thought to be the solution to mass housing. The estate curves to closely follow the tracks of the railway line from London Euston Station. The back of block almost overhangs the railway line to give each of the apartments their own terrace garden at the front. Below ground are garages and utility areas reached from integrated stairs from each level of apartments.
Built-In Vibration Reduction
The estate is surprisingly quiet. The foundations of the tallest block next to the railway line rest on rubber blocks to avoid vibration. Most of the roof terrace balconies are spilling over with planting softening the concrete.
Sadly the architect Neave Brown died in January 2018 at the age of 88. Only months earlier he was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal. Poignantly with the tragedy of Grenfell, he was a staunch opponent of social housing in tower blocks. He was insistent that we need to a return to a kind of street-based urbanism because towers were socially divisive as well as unsafe.
As a postscript to this story I see one of my images on the Alamy picture library has been used full page for an article about the Alexandra Road Estate and its architect Neave Brown. Thank you for choosing my photo!