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The Independent Culture
Between 1945 and 1970, public housing was built on a massive scale in Britain. Much of it was horrendous: too fast, too experimental, but far from cheap. There were, however, examples of excellence, notably in London, including Powell & Moya's design for Churchill Gardens, Pimlico and, although you might not like the look of the great sculptural brute, Erno Goldfinger's Trellick Tower in north Kensington. The big unanswered question is how were architects briefed in those years? Who were their clients? What vested interests, or, equally, what cupidity gave us Broadwater Farm, Tottenham and the Mozart Estate, Queen's Park? To try to answer these questions and many more, the Twentieth Century Society has organised a full-day symposium on 8 June - "Private Architects and Public Housing 1945-1970" - chaired by Professor Andrew Saint. The architects who designed the Barbican (Frank Woods of Chamberlin, Powell & Bon), Lillington Gardens (Geoffrey Darke of Darbourne & Darke), World's End, Chelsea (Ivor Cunningham of Eric Lyons Partnership), Trellick Tower (James Dunnett, formerly with Erno Goldfinger) will be discussing the way things were. A coach trip on the following day (9 June), led by Elain Harwood, will take participants on a not-altogether-magical mystery tour of the most interesting post-war London housing estates. You may think you would rather clear out the garden shed or repaint the kitchen ceiling, but this two-day venture promises to be a revelation to those who can take this amount of concentrated concrete.

Combined ticket, pounds 27; symposium only, pounds 18; coach trip only, pounds 15. Details: Jill Slack, Twentieth Century Society, 0171-250 3857

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