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Utopia – The Dunboyne Housing Estate

Tecnica: Watercolour, Pen & Digital Drawing

The era of the Camden Architecture Department marked a seminal moment in British social housing. During its short existence (1965-1985), the department’s radical utopian visions pioneered new approaches to urban living.
While lesser known than the department’s other constructed projects, the Dunboyne Housing Estate was the first development led by renowned architect Neave Brown. For Brown, the essential elements of an ideal community were embodied by the surrounding terraced streets of North London and in the design of Dunboyne he sought to recreate them. Shunning the era’s prevailing tower block style, Brown pioneered what would become the borough’s staple approach of high-density low-rise housing, with each apartment possessing a front door ‘open to the sky’.
However, Dunboyne, with its extended route from street to front door, created a range of nuanced urban conditions, distinct from the terraced street, presenting opportunities for communal interaction and inhabitation. These shared realms provoke new collective activities, forging neighbourly relationships and extending a shared sense of ownership and care over the estate as a whole.

Alex Haines
Alex Haines
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