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Architectural Photo Walk: Robin Hood Gardens

Architectural Photo Walk: Robin Hood Gardens

Led by photographer Anthony Palmer, this architectural photo walk focuses on Robin Hood Gardens, a defining example of Brutalist architecture. Participants will explore the library collections before travelling to the social housing estate for a guided tour of the grounds and challenged to capture lasting images of this iconic building.

About the day

This architectural photo walk explores Alison and Peter Smithson’s social housing project, Robin Hood Gardens, a project that has probably garnered more mythology than any other social housing estate in Britain. A defining example of Brutalist architecture, while admired by many, it has also divided opinion as either a modernist masterpiece or a concrete carbuncle.

Wide street decks, the so-called 'streets in the sky’, were symbolic of London’s East End pavements as well as the architects' social concerns. After less than fifty years and two attempts at listed property status, it is now currently undergoing demolition in stages as part of the Blackwall Reach regeneration scheme.

Participants will begin the day by looking at some of the important reference points within the RIBA Library Collections, including the photographs by Tony Ray-Jones made while the estate was under construction. Next the group will travel to the site of Robin Hood Gardens where they will have a guided tour around the estate.

Then comes the challenge of capturing some lasting images of this iconic building. Led by an experienced photographer, firstly you will focus on seeing the estate in context to the rapidly changing urban surroundings before looking at its architectural details. The day will finish with a chance to review and discuss your photographs as well as the regeneration plans for the Blackwall Reach scheme.

Event Details

This event is lead by photographer Anthony Palmer for students and adults aged 18 and over. It starts at the RIBA before taking to the streets. It is suitable for photographers at all levels, including beginners. Participants must bring equipment they are comfortable with including phones, tablets or cameras. Online booking essential.

Please note: this is a photo walk looking at the context of photographing architecture, rather than the technical skills of photography. If you are looking for technical photography workshops, please see our Architectural Photography Masterclass.