The Modernist

20th century modernist design and architecture in the NW of England, from Runcorn’s lost utopia to Blackpool Casino, from Forton Services to Manchester’s UMIST campus.

If you love the 20th century architecture and design of the NW, from Cheshire to Cumbria, Blackpool to Blackburn… Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and the rest, the modernist magazine is just the ticket, we regularly feature articles, interviews, news, reviews and travel.

We’ve handpicked a team of experts, and dilettantes alike, to bring you news, musings and delightful titbits about modernist architecture and design in the NW.

Demolition of London housing estate to begin

Demolition teams are to move in to one of Britain’s best known housing estates on Friday.

The sprawling Heygate estate in Walworth, south-east London, is close to the Aylesbury estate, which Tony Blair visited hours after his 1997 election victory. In his first leadership speech he described the residents as the “forgotten people” and pledged to tackle social exclusion in the are.

Housing estates – Pruitt Igoe in Saint-Louis, Missouri

Housing Estates – Park Hill Estate in Sheffield

The Park Hill estate, Sheffield: Europe’s largest Grade 2 listed building
Park Hill in Sheffield is a large council estate comprising 995 flats. The structure was inspired by the famous architect Le Corbusier. Leading architectural and historic buildings expert Dan Cruickshank shows us the structure and explains its history. We learn how each floor had broad aisles wide enough for milk floats and how the complex also incorporated a primary school and shopping precinct. Constructed of reinforced concrete combined with yellow, orange and red brick curtain walling, it demonstrates ‘brutalist’ modernism on a European scale. The estate was initially very popular and successful but decayed over time to become an inner city sink estate, described by some as a ‘mugger’s paradise’ or ‘concrete prison’. (from BBC, learning zone)

Clip of the Park Hill housing estate (on BBC)

a photo a day: 14 October 2010

Sometimes, Modernism fails.