London

China Walk is a large London County Council five-storey neo-Georgian estate in Lambeth, South London where the houses are named after different china manufacturers, including Wedgewood, Derby and Doulton. It housed workers from nearby riverside industries along with pottery and food processing. A plaque on the nearby Hall commemorates Charlie Chaplin whose early years were spent nearby.

General info

Date 1929–34
Type Block dwellings built by the London County Council under the 1923 and 1924 Acts
Architect G Topham Forrest, architect to the Council

Photographs

H1
C1
Historic Contemporary
H2
H3
H4
H5
C5
Historic Contemporary
H6

Maps

Google
1870
1890
1910
1950
1945
2006
2013

Google map: latest

Historical maps: 1870 1890 1910 1950

Satellite images: 1945 2006 2013

Sections

Block
Dwelling

Plans

Site
Floor 1
Floor 2
Dwelling 1
Dwelling 2
Dwelling 3

Statistics

Site area ? 5.4 acres The site area is the area of land developed as one housing scheme measured to the centre of surrounding rounds. This area may be that of a housing district or only part of it, according to the type of scheme. For many schemes illustrated the analysis of the site area does not show the complete housing accommodation received by the tenants, since often they reply on amenities situated ouside the site. The immediate suddoundings to each site are shown as fully as possible on the drawings; the approximate location of the site is given at the head of the figures; a rough idea of the placing of industry, parks and open spaces, and old and new working class residential areas, is given in the general notes for each city.
Built-on area ? 22% This is measured by the division of the site area to show the effects of the systems of development used, into built-on area, road area and net open space. The road area includes footpaths and verges to the roads.
Roads 12%
Open space 66%
Storeys 5
Dwellings 283 (53 per acre)
Population 1109 (209 per acre)
Dwelling size ? 2 rooms, 9%, 49.8sq. m 3 rooms, 62%, 57.6 – 64.7 sq. m 4 rooms, 18%, 74.3 – 81.3 sq. m 5 rooms, 11%, 85.9 – 96.9 sq. m This is measured by the percentage of, and gross area of, dwellings having 1-6 rooms. The gross area is taken to include external walls and to the centre of party walls; in cottages it includes all useable floors and attached sheds. Living rooms, living kitchens, and bedrooms are counted as rooms, but bed recesses, separate kitchens, kitchen recesses, or bathrooms are not counted.
Rents ? AVERAGE WORKER’S WAGE: 53 shilling 2 rooms, 7s 10d – 12s 1d 3 rooms, 10s 3d – 14s 8d 4 rooms, 12s 7d – 17s 4d 5 rooms, 15s 0d – 19s 0d Rents are given per week, and include charges for rates, heating, and lighting, unless otherwise given in the text. Further recurring charges for use of laundry equipment, creche etc are mentioned under the appropriate headings.
Average Rent 13s 2d
(25% of usual unskilled worker’s wage)
Average population per room ? 1.18 Population figures are those given by the authorities concerned as the latest available resents for the number of tents, unless it is stated in the text that the population is estimated, when the basis of estimation is also given.

Amsterdam

Het Blauwe Zand is a garden village to the North of Amsterdam with a colourful history.

Blue: A triangular area between the old villages and Buiksloot Nieuwendam was used as farmland and by shipyards, sawmills and firework factories whose effluent coloured the ground blue. On the cleared land, The Blue Sand housing was built to accommodate a growing group of workers from the new industries and shipbuilding on the north banks of the IJ.

Red: In the elections of 1934, 79% of the neighbourhood voted for the Communist Party of Holland and the Social Democratic Workers' Party. Together, these groups went to war against the fascists of the NSB, who fiercely hated. The militancy of the residents led to several incidents, and in 1937 they attached NSB party leader Anton Mussert, which earned them a notorious reputation. Residents suffered from this reputation in job interviews and asked the Housing Authority to rename the town to Tuindorp Buiksloot.

Orange: The neighbourhood is famous for wrapping exuberant streets in orange during national football matches in the European and World Championships. Residents gather together to watch football. This is a far cry from its origins where the neighbourhood was divided between normal and ‘undesirable tenants’, only admitted to the new estates after spending 12-18 months, or until they have acquired satisfactory ways of living, in special probationary centres. In these centres there was communal accommodation including nurseries, wash-houses and communal bathrooms ; rents are very low, 12-14% of the usual unskilled wage.

General info

Date 1930-32
Type Cottages built by the Municipality
Architect The Municipal Housing Office

Photographs

H1
C1
Historic Contemporary
H2
C2
Historic Contemporary
H3
C3
Historic Contemporary
H4
H5
C6
C7
C8

Maps

Google maps
2004

Google map: latest

Satellite image: 2004

Sections

Dwelling

Plans

Site
Part site
Dwelling 1
Dwelling 2
Dwelling 3

Statistics

Site area ? 38 acres The site area is the area of land developed as one housing scheme measured to the centre of surrounding rounds. This area may be that of a housing district or only part of it, according to the type of scheme. For many schemes illustrated the analysis of the site area does not show the complete housing accommodation received by the tenants, since often they reply on amenities situated ouside the site. The immediate suddoundings to each site are shown as fully as possible on the drawings; the approximate location of the site is given at the head of the figures; a rough idea of the placing of industry, parks and open spaces, and old and new working class residential areas, is given in the general notes for each city.
Built-on area ? 21% This is measured by the division of the site area to show the effects of the systems of development used, into built-on area, road area and net open space. The road area includes footpaths and verges to the roads.
Roads 33%
Open space 46%
Storeys 2
Dwellings 804 (21 per acre)
Population 4400 (115 per acre)
Dwelling size ? 3 rooms, 34%, 66.0-73.3 sq. m 4 rooms, 28%, 70.6 sq. m 5 rooms, 38%, 84.7 sq. m This is measured by the percentage of, and gross area of, dwellings having 1-6 rooms. The gross area is taken to include external walls and to the centre of party walls; in cottages it includes all useable floors and attached sheds. Living rooms, living kitchens, and bedrooms are counted as rooms, but bed recesses, separate kitchens, kitchen recesses, or bathrooms are not counted.
Rents ? AVERAGE WORKER’S WAGE: 23 francs 3 rooms, 3.25 - 6.15 francs 4 rooms, 3.25 - 6.15 francs 5 rooms, 3.50 - 7.75 francs Rents are given per week, and include charges for rates, heating, and lighting, unless otherwise given in the text. Further recurring charges for use of laundry equipment, creche etc are mentioned under the appropriate headings.
Average Rent 5.05 francs
(22% of usual unskilled worker’s wage)
Average population per room ? 1.36 Population figures are those given by the authorities concerned as the latest available resents for the number of tents, unless it is stated in the text that the population is estimated, when the basis of estimation is also given.

HOUSING ALTERNATIVES

The preface to this book rightly lays stress on the unprecedented efforts made throughout Europe since the War to improve the housing conditions of the people, and the book itself indicates succinctly and pictorially the kind of provision which is being made at home and on the Continent. Its publication comes at a time when we, in this country, have completed the three-millionth house since the War, when we are in the middle of our great attack upon the slums, and when we are initiating a new campaign to abate overcrowding.

The capacity for dealing with large volumes of building in this country has been so successfully demonstrated that we can now confidently hope that, within a measurable period, every family in this country will be provided with that fundamental necessity—reasonable living accommodation, and that we can look forward to continual improvement or1 the present standards.

Other countries have attempted the solution of similar housing problems and this particular book has had to wait for publication on the efforts of all concerned to evolve their own solutions and eventually to prove that these are satisfactory from the technical point of view under the most varying conditions.

The technical experts of all countries have no doubt kept in touch with the efforts of their colleagues as well as their opportunities for exchange of ideas allowed, but we may take some little pride in the fact that this collection of examples of the best European methods has, with the enthusiastic assistance of their colleagues in other countries, been put on record by English technicians—an example of international common purpose which I hope we may see extended.

I do not propose to comment upon any of the examples set out with such careful attention to relevant data. I am, however, going to devote, as I hope everyone concerned will also do, time and attention to the lessons which the experience of other countries has to teach and to the practical application of these lessons to our own conditions.

Particularly do I commend the study of the examples to all those who seek the beauty that can be expressed in simple form—a characteristic of the very best in our English architecture and available to rich and poor alike, which money of itself cannot ensure but which can yet be achieved with comparatively small expenditure. I note many examples in this work of the utmost simplicity which are perfectly satisfying, and other examples which charm with a kind of extravagance well kept within the bounds of taste.

Finally I understand that it is the intention to keep this work on comparative European housing up to date. I can only express my gratitude to those who have so ably commenced and supported it and am glad to think that we may look forward to successive editions of this very valuable book.

London
Amsterdam
Compare
Schemes
HOUSING ALTERNATIVES
  1. Introduction
  2. General info
  3. Photographs
  4. Maps
  5. Sections
  6. Plans
  7. Statistics
  8. Further info