It’s time to say goodbye to another council estate, the Haggerston & Kingsland Estates in Hackney.
A redevelopment here has been long on cards. But first a little history. The estates were constructed in two main phases, Haggerston West was built in the 1930s and after WWII Haggerston East was added, bringing the total number of homes here to 447.
And in 1949 the Kingsland Estate was opened by the Mayor of Shoreditch (as it says on the plaque below)
In September 2007 almost three-quarters of the residents on the estate voted in favour of the demolition and rebuild of the houses, and all of these were offered dwellings once the revamp is complete.
Demolition is ongoing….
It’s hard to say whether everyone has moved on, or if squatters have moved in in the meantime.
But before any demolition started the estate became home to one of the most interesting art projects the East End has seen – I Am Here.
Inspired by the orange boards that were fitted over the windows of the estate, a group of local artists replaced these (or at least those facing directly onto the canal) with images of residents.
In the artists’ words: ‘Onlookers no longer stand unchallenged, as their gaze is met and returned by a multitude of faces consisting of current and former residents on the estate. Thus the project literally humanises a piece of architecture on its final journey.
(Photo credit: Cybermyth13)
Now the London & Quadrant Housing Trust has taken on the job of regenerating this area. In July 2008 London housing specialists PRP Architects won planning permission to build 761 new homes, a multi-storey community centre, a new public square and a number of retail units. More than half of the homes will be affordable housing and 248 will be for social rent.
PRP said: ‘The masterplan focuses on improving safety and security. A core principle is to enhance the area increasing its appeal and individuality to the current and prospective communities.’
I imagine the homes for sale here will be snapped up by eager landlords and young people. Broadway Market and London Fields are just around the corner. Head one direction up the canal and you get to Angel and the other way leads to Victoria Park and Hackney Wick. Up the road is Dalston, down the road is Shoreditch. What more could a true east London hipster want?
Finally, a big thank you to Michael Donnelly for most of the photos on this entry!