One of the main things I love about tiling is the sense of contribution I get! Mostly it’s to client’s vision of their dream bathroom or kitchen but on occasion I get to contribute to something for my local community.
Recently I did some work for the Victoria & Albert’s Lansbury Micro Museum in Poplar where I mounted some tiles as part of a display feature. The tiles were designed and produced by Year 6 pupils from Lansbury Lawrence Primary School in conjunction with artist Matthew Raw, as part of an exhibition inviting visitors and residents to discover the architectural significance of the Lansbury Estate in Poplar.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, architects and planners of London County Council proposed radical new approaches to building successful communities. Poplar and Stepney were chosen as testbeds for the development of 11 modern, interconnected neighbourhoods and were planned as self-contained ‘towns’. Though housing was their most pressing concern, this need was not considered in isolation. Each neighbourhood – of which the Lansbury Estate was ‘Neighbourhood Number 9’ – also included designated areas for parks, industry, churches, roads, and rail links as part of the overall design.
The exhibition has charted the development of ‘Neighbourhood Number 9’, from its conception as an ideal neighbourhood through the impact of modernisation and industrial decline, to the plans for regeneration and population growth over the next decade. The displays have re-visited the original ambitions for the neighbourhood, reflected on how life there has changed over time and invited visitors to contribute their own concerns and hopes for the future of Poplar - What if the community itself could lead urban change? What would ideally be preserved, and what would be encouraged to grow?
Being from East London this job touched my heart. It felt good to be able to contribute to my local community as well as discover the estate’s importance in terms of design innovation. I have driven by the estate many times and was totally unaware that the Lansbury Estate was the first in London at that time to pioneer a modern way of life for a new era!
If you happen to be in Neighbourhood Number 9 the free exhibition is running until 17th September 2017 so please do stop by. It’s held every Friday and Saturday from 10am -4pm at Unit 27 Chrisp Street Market, Poplar, London, E14 6AQ. Or log onto http://lansburymicromuseum.com/ for more information on their various events and activities.