Robin Hood Gardens

London, England, UK

Partially demolished 2017 

The Disappointed Tourist: Robin Hood Gardens, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Requested by Daniel A.

Robin Hood Gardens is a residential estate in Poplar, London. It was designed in the late 1960s by architects Alison and Peter Smithson and completed in 1972. It was built as a council housing estate and was notable for its “streets in the sky” design.  The building fell into disrepair and was unpopular with many tenants. Despite the attempts of notable architects who attempted to get the building listed, the demolition of the western block began at the end of 2017. The eastern block is still inhabited and is scheduled for demolition. Part of the building has been preserved by the Victoria and Albert Museum and was presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018. The painting is based on a photograph by Steve Cadman.