The Role of Heritage in Community Resistance: Central Hill and Beyond
Walk and Discussion
Note that this event takes place at Central Hill Estate. RSVP below for this in person event. Tickets are limited, please only book if you are sure to come.
Join Okra for a walking tour and discussion with campaigners, experts and residents at the iconic Central Hill Estate which is threatened with demolition. The estate is set into the leafy slopes of the Norwood Ridge in the London borough of Lambeth. Okra architects Aidan Hall, Rosalind Peebles and Toby O’Connor will introduce the story of Central Hill told by key actors in its fight for survival. They discuss heritage as a form of resistance to social and environmental threat, and how residents and campaigners are resisting regeneration. Guest speakers include local residents, Senaka Weeraman of Architects for Social Housing (ASH) and renowned public-housing architect Kate Macintosh.
Central Hill was designed by trailblazing architect Rosemary Stjernstedt and built in the golden era of public housing. It is one of a number of estates in Lambeth earmarked for demolition after years of neglect. The first phase of demolition is already underway. Critics of the council’s approach include Architects of Social Housing (ASH) who, with the backing of 79% of residents, produced alternative costed plans. ASH argue these alternative plans would provide more housing, refurbish existing homes and cost six times less. The Twentieth Century Society has also led two unsuccessful applications to English Heritage to get the estate listed.
Okra is a multi-disciplinary collective based on the Old Kent Road specialising in architecture, urban research and educational outreach. Through each project they apply their expertise to open up the built environment to all, and to strengthen, celebrate and empower communities.
Image 1: Central Hill Estate. Photo by and courtesy of Okra.
Image 2: Central Hill Estate, October 1976. Courtesy of Okra.
Image 3: Photo by Pete Elliot and Sabine Wearey.
Image 4: Portrait of Okra team. Photo by Elena Heatherwick. Courtesy of the portrayed.
Image 5: Kate Macintosh at Jane Drew Prize 2021. Photo by Michael Franke. Courtesy of the portrayed.