Saturday, 7 November 2020

BRUTAL BRUNSWICK

A tale of brave design and regeneration

One of the key stops on any tour of Brutalist architecture in London has to be the Brunswick Centre. This is another tale of brave design, prejudice against concrete, disrepair and regeneration (New Labour’s favourite hobby).

The place’s original design and layout is still largely intact and good to explore and appreciate. From its east side, on Brunswick Square, it peers through a warm veil of London plane trees, a cataract of concrete tumbling down to the street.

 

BRUNSWICK BASICS

·      Located close to Russell Square Bloomsbury London.

·      Mixed use – residential and commercial

·      Mid 1960’s Building started in 1967 and finished in 1972.

·      Architect Patrick Hodgkinson, replacing run-down Georgian terrace Housing. 

·      The residential part of the scheme leased to Camden Borough

·      Widely disliked it was listed Grade II in 2000.

·      Shop premises remained unoccupied, renovation plans blocked by residents’ committees

·      November 2002 a £22m renovation project began. 

·      Council finally starts work on refurbishing the housing in 2005

 

Now called The Brunswick, and a plaza, It comprises five hundred flats, and all the usual retail corporates including Ann Summers, Boots, New Look, Revital (tag line ‘thinking of your health’) Holland & Barrett, Superdrug. Lead billing goes to Waitrose whose reassuring signage makes it appear as lead sponsor.

 

 

*(Note the capitalisation of the ‘T’ – very popular today as in ‘The Science’ and ‘The Church’).

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Thank you very much for your comments - Tim