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RIBA Present Robin Hood Gardens Exhibition


22 June 2009

Press office contact:

Beatrice Cooke
T: +44 (0)207 307 3813
E: beatrice.cooke@riba.org

Exhibition: 4 July – 26 August 2009

Gallery 2, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is delighted to present Robin Hood Gardens: Re-Visions, an exhibition taking a fresh look at the controversial east London housing estate and its residents through photographs, documentary film, archive material and projects by diploma students at the University of Greenwich. Recent photographs by Ioana Marinescu will be displayed alongside archive images and a new documentary film by Martin Ginestie. The work of Marinescu and Ginestie gives a fresh interpretation of the formal quality of the architecture, the integration of the estate in the transformed landscape around London's docklands, and the intimate lives of its residents. The documentary film also includes interviews with architects, historians and planners.


The proposal to demolish Robin Hood Gardens (1968–72), one of the most important schemes designed by Alison and Peter Smithson, has featured prominently in the media.


This exhibition is part of a two year campaign by the Twentieth Century Society and others to achieve a sensitive refurbishment of the estate:


  • Autumn 2007: Twentieth Century Society requested the estate to be listed
  • Beginning 2008: Press campaign by Building Design magazine to save the estate begins
  • May 2008: First refusal to list the building
  • July 2008: Twentieth Century Society request a review and one is carried out
  • May 2009: DCMS Review results in refusal to list Robin Hood Gardens

    Alison Smithson (1928-1993) and Peter Smithson (1923 - 2003) together formed an architectural partnership, and are often associated with New Brutalism. Their buildings include:


    Exhibition organized by the Twentieth Century Society and supported by the University of Greenwich.


Notes to editors

  1. Alan Powers and Catherine Croft from the Twentieth Century Society, are available for interview. For further information and images please contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA Press Office on 020 7307 3813 or email: beatrice.cooke@inst.riba.org. A private view will be held on Tuesday 21 July at 6.30pm. Please contact me if you are interested in attending.


  1. Robin Hood Gardens: Re-Visions will be exhibited at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD. Tel: 020 7580 5533; www.architecture.com/programmes. Nearest tubes are Regents Park, Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street. The exhibition and RIBA Café and bar are open Monday to Saturdays 10am – 5pm, Tuesday10.00- 9pm, free entry. Evening or weekend functions sometimes affect gallery opening times. If planning a visit on a Saturday or late weekday afternoon, it is advisable to call beforehand: 020 7307 3888.


  1. Ioana Marinescu (1973, Romania) works as an architectural photographer and teaches architecture at Greenwich University. Her photographic work is published regularly in books and magazines and was exhibited in UK, France, Romania, Italy, Luxembourg, the USA and Canada. Ioana is currently working on a book of interviews and photographs about her hometown Bucharest, partly demolished in the 1980's.


       Martin Ginestie (1982, France) studied Mathematics & Philosophy at Oxford University. He is currently completing his MA in Documentary Directing at the National Film and Television School, after having directed three short films in Ramallah, West Bank.


  1. The RIBA Trust manages the cultural assets of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), including the internationally recognised collections of the British Architectural Library. It is the UK's national architecture centre, delivering the RIBA Awards and RIBA Stirling Prize (broadcast live on     Channel 4); the Royal Gold Medal; International and Honorary Fellowships; a full programme of lectures, exhibitions, tours and other events; and an education programme.


  1. The Twentieth Century Society exists to safeguard the heritage of architecture and design in Britain from 1914 onwards.  One of the Society's prime objectives is education, with education comes appreciation.  With conservation, another prime objective, comes the continued opportunity for extending our knowledge about those buildings or artifacts, whether important or humble, rare or commonplace as the red telephone kiosk, that characterise the Twentieth Century in Britain.


  1. Further information on Building Design's media campaign to save Robin Hood Gardens can be found at: www.bdonline.co.uk/rhg


  1. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of the founding of the RIBA. To celebrate this milestone the Institute is looking forward to a programme of special events to be held throughout the year that aims to show the breadth of our activities throughout the world of architecture, engage an even wider public and celebrate the benefits to society of good design. For further information visit www.architecture.com



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