In the post war housing boom. Many councils across the UK demolished thousands of unsanitary almost Dickensian terraced houses to make way for the bold utopian “New Jerusalem” of the deck access estate. The was widely based on the ideals of the French architect Le Corbusier and his acclaimed Unite d’Habitation which still stands on the outskirts of MArseille France
Each walkway is meant to represent a street and subsequently is named after one of the streets taht were demolished to make way for the project.
It is possible to walk an entire street from #1 to #250 (up to over a kilometre long) by remaining on the same walkway As the estate is built on a hillside, it is possible to access every level of the complex from the public highway therefore making it accessible for mothers with prams , wheelchairbound residents etc the local milkman was even able to drive his milkfloat along the walkways to deliver the daily pinta
The estate was pretty much self contained with many local amentities ,shops,school, youth club and 4 pubs
Sadly the estate fell into decline from the 1970s onwards and is currently in the process of ultramodernisation Local opinion has always been strongly divided about PArk Hill with some simply wanting it flattened instantly while others (me included) feel it should be kept and restored back to its former glory . I think the intentions and ideals behind its inception over 50 years ago to create some sort of futuristic utopia both stimulating and inspiring, i don’t see why this cannot be revisted in the 21st century
Interestingly the whole estate is the largest Grade 2 listed building in Europe, the current refurbishment is being undertaken by Urban Splash
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