The tower blocks, which are typical of the great British cities skyline, began to appear in London in the early 60s, and marked the end of an era, which had begun in the early years of the century, when public housing did not suffer from today’s negative reputation.
Unlike the public housing buildings built up to that moment, the tower blocks are characterized, in addition to the height and the sometimes unpleasant appearance, by the low quality of construction materials that degrade in relatively short times.
In 1980, the British government launched the "right to buy" scheme, with the aim of allowing renters of public housing to buy them at favorable conditions, and at the same time to relieve the councils of at least part of the maintenance costs.
Actually, this decree has started a process that has led to the indiscriminate increase in the cost of rents and a serious lack of housing for low-income families.
Gentrification is the set of urban and socio-cultural changes that occur when wealthy individuals buy properties in a traditionally popular urban area or that is inhabited by the working class, which can no longer afford to live there because of high housing costs.
This term was coined in London precisely to describe the transformation process started with the aim of improving and preserving the building heritage, but which actually often hides large money laundering operations and building speculation, and which, just as often, turns into proper social cleansing actions, where residents are forced to find accommodations in peripheral areas and entire communities are dispersed.
The photographs in this collection depict some of the tower blocks still visible in the London skyline, mostly built in the '60s and ‘70s. Nowadays, some of these are still intended for popular housing. Others are now incorporated into areas that are undergoing a process of transformation.
The buildings are being presented extrapolated from the context, in order to question their real housing function, their architectural aspect, the aesthetic and the environmental impact.
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