Sunday, 28 January 2018


Failed Architecture presents an interesting case-study of Thamesmead Housing Estates, one of the primary filming locations of Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 adaptation of A Clockwork Orange, and how the community has battled that cultural reference since and tried to divorce itself from modernist architecture’s (largely unfounded) associations with unsuccessful social experiments and indeed post-industrial wastelands.
Before the compound was saved from the wrecking-ball a decade ago—a fate that has befallen too many other housing projects, only exacerbating the crisis of affordable living accom- modations whether or not terrorised by Droogs, its demolition was hailed by Greater London and beyond as “the end of ultraviolence,” even though the building was eventually spared and Thamesmead is not a net-exporter of crime nor contributor to delinquency and truancy. The estate will undergo a different type of transformation at the hands of private developers, however, that is suspected to exploit the property’s prime-location and reform its image ultimately through gentrification—which does not help the availability of affordable homes in the end either.