The fine line between beauty and eyesore

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Alexandra Road Estate is beautiful in its clever use of indoor and outdoor space, light and access routes. Its vast grey concrete mass was bound to cause waves. 

And cause waves it has - and still does.

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Concrete is the Marmite of the built environment. These flats are highly desirable and are sold for a whole lotta coin, yet are deemed unappealing to buyers in the eyes of lenders, which means THEY ARE BOUGHT STRAIGHT UP WITH ££££££££££££££££££££££££

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Designed in 1968 by modernist architect Neave Brown and located a stone’s throw away from that Abbey Road crossing (made famous when the Beatles traversed its zebra), the estate announces its presence in NW in its sombre horizontality, rising up to four floors. 

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Mostly occupied by council tenants, who can buy their homes from the local authority after 10-year residency, privately-owned flats are selling for bucket loads, especially considering lenders are not providing mortgages on the estate. WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?

Because it is (wrongly) deemed to be an unattractive place to live due to its - yep, you guessed it - concrete!

I visited these two flats when they were on the market, and this is what I found:

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This two-bed was bought by an architect seven years ago. With his wife, he raised two small children here (the eldest of which he named Neave), before deciding to move to the ‘burbs.

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Sensitively restored and maintained, the architect preserved many original features, such as the internal moveable partitions and the timber stairs, adding LEDS under the treads.

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Stencilled in multicoloured lettering beneath a light switch by the front entrance reads “HOUSE OF FUN” - a nice touch.image

On the market for £375K, the property was snapped up by a dogged buyer, and sure lover of concrete, for ‘significantly above asking price’.

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Clearly, lenders have got it all wrong.

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This flat (below) is on the market for £275K, a one-bed close to the railway line. It was bought three months ago by the current owner for £80K less… Mental, eh.

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Just mental.

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Note the kitchen’s original sliding cabinet doors and brown tiling.

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Although only 500 sq ft, the flat felt bigger due to large glazing, opening out onto a south-facing balcony.

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Oooh, say what, say what, say what?

Tags: architecture

View from the #shard + #reflection

View from the #shard + #reflection

Did I swallow some 2C-B…

or is that building moving?

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Theatre Agora by UNStudio.

French architect, Axel de Stampa, and his project Animated Architecture,

see a collection of contemporary buildings come to life as whimsical gifs.

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New Museum by SANAA.

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VitraHaus by Herzog & de Meuron.

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Emerson College LA by Morphosis.

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Absolute Towers by MAD.

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Memory Museum by Estudio.

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Mirador Building by MVRDV and Blanca Lleo.

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Zollverein School by SANAA.

germanpostwarmodern:

Housing Haagseveer (1975-81) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by Jan Hoogstad & Aat van Tilburg

A modified Alexander Road Estate by the water.

germanpostwarmodern:

Housing Haagseveer (1975-81) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by Jan Hoogstad & Aat van Tilburg

A modified Alexander Road Estate by the water.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Architecture in Helsinki

shari-vari:

Frank Lloyd Wright by Alan Nagle

shari-vari:

Frank Lloyd Wright by Alan Nagle

(Source: the-leitmotiv, via profoundmagazine)

designcloud:

 SkyArt series by French artist Lamadieu Thomas 

(Source: cosascool)

typicalhope:

Particle-colored

Imagine this is a building plan, with spatially transient rooms.

typicalhope:

Particle-colored

Imagine this is a building plan, with spatially transient rooms.

architectural-review:

A highly-modernist graphic of the City of the Future by Kempster & Evans.

architectural-review:

A highly-modernist graphic of the City of the Future by Kempster & Evans.