Estate of Mind: the most exciting homes for sale on London's Modernist estates right now
“Pioneer of quality public housing” Neave Brown was recently awarded the prestigious RIBA Gold Medal, in recognition of his contribution to social housing. Although he completed a number of Modernist estates across the UK and in Europe, those designed during his time at Camden Council in the 1960s and ’70s remain his most iconic.
To celebrate, we’ve selected our favourite sales from London’s most architecturally significant Modernist housing estates, beginning with one of Brown’s most well-recognised projects.
Rowley Way: Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate, NW8
Commonly known as the Alexandra Road Estate, this iconic development in South Hampstead was designed and constructed by Neave Brown between 1972 and 1978. The estate received a rare Grade-II* listing in recognition of its architectural significance. A beautiful example of a Rowley Way home, this two-bedroom duplex has been sensitively refurbished by the current owners.
Spedan Close: Branch Hill Estate, NW3
This secluded private estate was designed by Benson and Forsyth and completed in 1978. Situated on a gently sloping site surrounded by woodland next to West Heath, the development was one of Camden Council’s flagship low-rise projects and is now Grade-II listed. Benson and Forsyth were both heavily influenced by their work with Neave Brown on the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate in Camden (above), which was completed in the same year. This modernist house has vast areas of glazing, overlooking uninterrupted woodland.
Stoneleigh Terrace: Whittington Estate, N19
Characterised by its stepped profile, the Whittington Estate is a further product of Camden Council’s ‘golden age’ of progressive social-housing development in the 1970s. Devised by Peter Tabori, again under the guidance of Neave Brown, the staggered design enhances the levels of natural light in each property. This apartment is spread over three storeys and has south-facing balconies on every floor.
Bowmore Walk: Maiden Lane Estate, NW1
This estate, which now sits at the heart of the King’s Cross regeneration area, was built in two phases between 1979 and 1982. Bowmore Walk was completed during the first phase, to a design by architects Gordon Benson and Alan Forsyth. This house sits in the centre of the estate, and offers an exciting opportunity for renovation.
The Hall & The Priory: Cator Estate SE3
Architect Eric Lyons co-founded the development company Span in 1948. An early Span publication summarises the origin of the name and the company’s design ethos: ‘It spans the gap between the suburban monotony of the typical ‘spec building’ and the architecturally designed individually built residence.’ The Cator Estate in Blackheath, built in the late 1950s, is one of Lyons’ most well-known Span projects. These apartments, in The Hall and The Priory, are positioned in some of the estate’s most coveted spots.
Glenhurst Court: Dulwich Estate, SE19
Glenhurst Court sits within a large area of land in South East London, maintained for over 400 years by the Dulwich Estate. In 1954, Austin Vernon & Partners were called on to design a new scheme for the estate following a period of disrepair after the Second World War. Glenhurst Court was completed in 1957, as part of the first phase of building work (over the next two decades more than 2,000 new homes were designed for the estate by Austin Vernon & Partners, making it one of the most remarkable Modernist Estates in the UK). This apartment features the open rooms and large windows that can be seen on properties across the development.