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Alexandra Road Housing/Rowley Way

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by Reno, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Alexandra Road Housing/Rowley Way NW8

    Does anybody live or know someone who lives on the Alexandra Road Estate in Rowley Way, Kilburn ?

    http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Alexandra_Road_Housing.html

    I had friends who were council tenants there in the 80's and I always loved the building. The pictures on the site above don't quite do it justice. Walking around in there feels like being in a 70's Sci-Fi film like Rollerball or Logan's Run.

    I'm now considering buying a flat on the estate, but I'd like to talk to someone who knows the place well. I've heard various things, from the place having a community spirit that is rare in council estates to it being overrun with teenage gangs. From visiting there in the 80's I tend towards the former, but maybe it has changed.

    I'd also like to know if any major repair work has recently been undertaken or is planned in the near future.
     
  2. zenie

    zenie >^^<

    I dont know it myself but it's been in a shit load of tv programmes if my memory serves me right.

    There's quite a few estates around like that though if that's your thing.

    There's definitley some up by Southbank though the name escapes me at the moment.
     
  3. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    I know London well and believe me, there aren't many estates like it. The smaller Brunswick Centre in Bloomsbury comes closest, but I can't afford to buy there or on the Southbank.
     
  4. zenie

    zenie >^^<

    Is the Brunswick Centre the one that used to be an artists co-op or something along those lines?

    What kind of mortgage are you getting? Concrete over steel construction is a bit of a fucker to lend on.
     
  5. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    The Brunswick Centre is the one that has the Renoir Cinema in it. It's next to Russel Square tube station.

    I'm just looking around for a mortgage lender. Already got turned down by two :(
     
  6. zenie

    zenie >^^<

    Because of the construction?

    I'm just finishing work but I'll have a look at our database on monday and see if I can find a lender who lends on concrete over steel. They are definitley out there but they wont be high street,
     
  7. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Yes, because it's concrete. Considering the building is grade II listed it's not like it's going to be pulled down any time soon. Of course I'll have to find out if the construction is solid, but apparently they've done some work on it recently.

    Would be really appreciated let me know if you find a lender. Will talk to a local mortgage adviser as well.
     
  8. Harold Shand

    Harold Shand Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it's a wonderful estate, much better than the Brunswick Estate which is all location. The Logan's Run description is spot on.

    The other best council estates in my view are (sadly reflected in price)

    Golden Lane Estate, Finsbury ("Mondrian in stone")
    Millbank Estate, Westminster (first LCC block with own toilets)
    Boundary Estate, Shoreditch (first LCC block of all)
    Page Street, Westminster (by Lutyens, of all people)

    Also one in Roehampton is supposed to very interesting in a modernist way.

    I don't like the Trellick Tower at all.
     
  9. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Just to update my thread, with the help of the HomeBuy scheme I have clambered onto the property ladder and bought a flat on the estate. After struggling a bit with the plumbing the next challenge will be to convince the cockroaches to move out. At least there aren't too many of them and they are reasonably discreet. The flat itself is gorgeous. Despite being a one bedroom, it's the most spacious place I've lived in since I moved to London 23 years ago. The lounge opens out to a large veranda and is connected to the bedroom via a french door which turns the flat into one big space when open. For my money this is in a much better location and much bigger then the Victorian conversions I looked at. So far the only hoodies I've seen were the extras for the next Prime Suspect. They are filming something here at least once a month. This is the number one choice for location scouts when it comes to crime series it seems, when really it's rather quiet and peaceful.
     
  10. Leica

    Leica it's only make believe

    You're back! :cool:
    Congratulations on your new home. It sounds lovely... just the kind of thing that I would go for, I like concrete Le Corbusier/Bauhaus modernist type architecture. Where is it facing (e.g. north, south etc)?
     
  11. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    It's facing south and it's bright and airy all day. :)
     
  12. cybertect

    cybertect Now up West

    Congratulations!

    You just bought yourself a little slice of British architectural history. It's one that always caught my imagination :)
     
  13. Sir Belchalot

    Sir Belchalot arenicola marina

    Don't know if this works but someone told me this once.
    Supposedly if you bake a dead cockroach in the oven then crumble it up and mix with water in a plant sprayer and spray it around the home they stay away:D
    Probably a load of bollocks but if you try it, let us know if it works or not.
     
  14. zenie

    zenie >^^<

    Well done!!!

    We want pics :D

    Dare we ask how much you paid :eek:
     
  15. marty21

    marty21 my gran was in the war with bombs and shit

    i've walked around there, i like the builldings, as has been said, similar to the brunswick centre...
     
  16. rennie

    rennie m'enfin!

    I've been to that estate many many years ago... congrats btwn!
     
  17. HackneyE9

    HackneyE9 Well-Known Member

    Wow, a thread right up my street - or pedestrianised walkway, as is the case. I went up to this estate last year after seeing photos in the book "England - Postwar listed architecture" and it is an absolutley unique and wonderful piece of architecture (although sadly it is of the type you see a lot of in more civilised countries like the Netherlands).

    I must admit there was some bad vandalism and a few hard Mums and rough kids about, but the only thing that puts me off is the area - don't like boring Swiss Cottage/North London and it's very trafficky round there.

    But the internal spaces look fab! Be very curious to have a nose around. Can I ask how much a flat there goes for? I assumed they were still all council-owned.

    The reason Camden has a few amazing council blocks - like Brunswick and Aelxandra Road is apparently they had an enlightened architecture dept in the late 60s early 70s.

    It's not really looked after that well, though, is it. They knocked down a block for the disabled and there seemed to be a unused/derelect community hall or something. Plus the graffitti and weeds.
     
  18. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    gaijinboy lived on the edge of that estate in an ex-council flat on Boundary Road when I met him - I always wondered what it was like inside - having seen the pictures now I wish I'd gone in to look!
     
  19. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    True Swiss Cottage wouldn't have been my top choice, but then again it's reasonably central, transport links are great. There are a few rough looking people living there, but nobody too scary. One of the reason I wanted to get out of my last place was because I lived next to a crack house, so I'm not easily scared.
     
  20. HackneyE9

    HackneyE9 Well-Known Member

    Good for you for going for it. My other pipe dream, as a modern architecture buff, is Balfron Tower in Poplar. Amazing concrete, amazing views, bit delapidated, not too rough, some OK shops, but a bit back end of beyond - at mouth of Blackwall Tunnel, with all the olde-worlde charm of the Canary Wharf complex on your doorstep. Well, not even on your doorstep - a long walk over lots of motorways.

    Saw the great steps and community entrances at Alexandra Road, really nice thinking behind the design. I bet the architects did a mix of two/three/four bed flats too, unlike modern rapacious property speculators who don't want a mix, or kids, or the elderly, just a bunch of yuppies in two bed rabbit hutches. Agree with the mock-Tudorisation tendencies of some residents - they do the same at Thamesmead. "Hmmm....cutting edge modernist architecture? I'll put some fake mullions on the windows and ram a satelitte dish on the front".

    What do you reckon a family-sized flat would go for?
     
  21. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

  22. trashpony

    trashpony The kittens are taking over the world

    Ooh I used to have a mate that lived in Balfron Tower. Got to be cheap I reckon - location's not brilliant, But fab flats and an amazing building.

    Oh - and the Brunswick Centre's bloody marvellous inside - it's like a concrete cathedral :cool:
     
  23. HackneyE9

    HackneyE9 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the flats themsevles in Balfron are really generous, light-filled spaces. Maisonettes, too, with double height entrance halls.

    Course not looked after at all by Tower Hamlets council. Really heart-breakingly, you can find a derelict kiddies' playground at the base of Balfron, all lovingly sculpted in concrete. (Ok, probably not much fun to fall over on). Anyone know anything about Robin Hood Gardens, an equally brutalist estate in Poplar?
     
  24. HackneyE9

    HackneyE9 Well-Known Member

    Well, I've registered with all those spivvy estate agents now (one actually confessed he quite liked the architecture himself!) and there's one 2-bed going at £230 (!) and possibly one three bed at £240. Looking forward to a having a tour, at any rate.
     
  25. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    My estate agent had the Rowley Way flat listed as being Art Deco and had no idea that it is a listed building and considered to be of architectural merit. :rolleyes:

    Are you looking around Balfron Tower or Rowley Way ? Let me know if you need any information about Rowley Way, I did quite a bit of research before I bought my flat.
     
  26. HackneyE9

    HackneyE9 Well-Known Member

    I'm looking around a 3-bed Rowley Way flat/house on Monday, 6pm. Apparently it's been squatted and is a real mess, so they want £200k and it'll need £20k to refurbish. Or something. You can never trust what estate agents tell you. Will Google for some photos of estate as it was when it was finished.

    Know anything about Camden council's plans for any major building works, or what typical length leases are, or how much council tax is?
     
  27. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Sent you a message with all the information. Hope it is of some help.
     
  28. HackneyE9

    HackneyE9 Well-Known Member

    Got it. Cheers.
     
  29. farnaz

    farnaz New Member

    farnaz

    Hey
    I'm going to visit a tree bedroom flat in Rowley way to buy. and I realy need your advice. I have a 4 years old son and I'm concidering to find a good place to raise him as well. Is Rowly way a good area for a child?
    many thanks
     
  30. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

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