Tour of Kings Crescent Estate

From “Open House” London


Saturday 21st September

Open 10am–4pm

Access to pedestrian street and shared areas, including internal spaces and residential courtyards


  • Tour of estate every 60 mins (10am-3pm) max 25 per tour


The Kings Crescent Estate was originally built by Hackney Council in 1969. The estate’s two nineteen-storey tower blocks were demolished in 2000 and 2002 alongside some of the lower blocks, around 357 homes in all.  The current regeneration scheme creates 273 new homes overall but of these only 76 are social rented; a further 101 social rent homes will be refurbished. It is a further reminder of the twisted economics of current social housing finance.


I’m sorry not to be more positive. There is a small uptick in council housebuilding. Councils are being allowed to borrow and many new schemes are underway but, almost invariably, they are small-scale and financed – through both necessity and choice – through public-private partnerships which too frequently prioritise non-social rented homes. The contemporary picture of social housing’s marginalisation and market-driven ‘regeneration’ creates a poignant counterpoint to the energy and aspirations of previous generations.  If you visit any of the estates on show during Open House London, my plea to you is to think of them not as monuments to a bygone era but as exemplars of what we can and should achieve in a brighter future.

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