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RIBA Collections

Radical housing: A coach tour

Take a trip with us from London to Essex as we visit a number of historic examples of radical housing in the capital and the county in partnership with Focal Point Gallery through their Radical ESSEX programme.

2021 marks the centenary of the first completed buildings on the Becontree Estate, which when built was the largest council estate in the world. Join RIBA and Focal Point Gallery on a day long tour focussing on radical examples of housing between London and Essex.

The day long tour will start at RIBA (66 Portland Place, London) before travelling to Becontree where we will hear from the artist Verity-Jane Keefe who has a longstanding working relationship with the area, alongside our RIBA curator Pete Collard, who has been working with Keefe on our upcoming exhibition Lived in Architecture – Becontree Estate at 100.

Leaving Becontree, we plan to drive through Gidea Park with a spotlight on some of the homes from the 1911 Modern Homes Exhibition before continuing to Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea. We will be met by Deputy Director Hayley Dixon for a tour of their current exhibition Tip of the Iceberg and an overview of their much celebrated ongoing Radical ESSEX programme.

Before returning to RIBA, the coach will make a final stop at the Bata Estate in East Tilbury, the site of the exemplary modernist workers’ housing for the Bata shoe factory.


Start and return Point: RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

Arrive: 9.15am

Coach leaves: 9.30am

Estimated return: 5.45pm

This event is part of the Becontree Centenary, a partnership between Create London and RIBA, supported using public funding from Arts Council England, Art Fund and Span Trust.