In 2008 the BD Magazine ran an ideas competition to highlight what could be done with the existing buildings and site, as a statement to try and ‘Save Robin Hood Gardens’. Alice Mulhall and I entered a joint scheme.
The masterplan follows the vision of introducing more open space to the pedestrian levels around the site boundary and the insertion of ‘floating’ gardens along the access decks and tops of the buildings. The site becomes the base of a new community spine linking through the site from north to south. The north consists of family living zones, schools and community centres. The green spine leads to the south and a community hub. This consists of a transport interchange, shops, local amenities, market stalls and new mixed affordable housing.
The vision was for the area to create a destination for people of all ages. This includes improving the existing Robin Hood Gardens’ buildings using high quality architectural and exuberant pods. The original Smithsonian design becomes the forefront and permanent backdrop to the new styles and aesthetics. The main aim of our ideas was to enrich the existing design and add flavour to the buildings’ unique historical status. This would create an environment that current and future residents can enjoy. The brutalist concrete design then becomes the canvas for the bright colours, new materials and greening. The buildings appear softened by the natural additions and become reinvigorated by the community.