This insightful walking tour of Hackney — led by architecture-trained town planner Lachlan Anderson-Frank — showcases the ambitious municipal projects which sought to transform the quality of life for people living in one of London’s most deprived boroughs.
The modern London Borough of Hackney covers a mix of leafy North London’s suburbs and the formerly gritty streets of the historic East End. Many of the area’s grandest squares were condemned as slums in the mid-20th century and cleared away – sometimes less than one hundred years after they were first built.
Out of decades of post-industrial decline – which by the early noughties had left Hackney as one of the country’s poorest neighbourhoods – grew a passionate commitment to ambitious municipalism, community activism and anti-racism which can be seen in local architecture today.
Highlights of the tour include the cloistered Nisbet House – opened by King George VI in 1938 – the Le Corbusier-inspired 1959 Gascoyne Estate, the Art Deco Hackney Town Hall, the striking Ada Street Workshops and Ernő Goldfinger’s iconic Haggerston School for Girls.
Representing a series of prominent landmarks amid the rapidly changing townscape of east London, these unique locations will be brought to life to reveal the fascinating details behind their construction during a moment of unparalleled optimism and idealism for the future.