A Brief History of the Council House (2): great estates and concrete fetishists I have known

And the last repost on post-war housing

RGS History

The first wave of post-war council houses were the product of a very British strain of socialism. For a start, Nye Bevan insisted on very high standards of building, space and size. The design of the new estates was  very much in what we might call the ‘garden city’ tradition, as was the emphasis on green space. The council housing built was, in consequence, solid and high quality, in a modest English kind of way. It was also very popular.

Four particular interest groups were less enamoured. The first was the state (the treasury, the ministry and to some extent the local authorities themselves): surely these houses could be built more cheaply and, if that were so, the state could cough up less or get more build for its buck. The second interest group was the architectural profession, many of whom were increasingly attracted to modernism. The third group, builders…

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