Radical ESSEX




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Basildon New Town

The state funded building of Basildon New Town was an attempt to address the post-war housing crisis in London. The design and building was led by the newly incorporated Basildon Development Corporation, with Sir Basil Spence as consultant, and the site was designated via the New Towns Act 1946.

The compulsory purchase orders that followed were met with resistance, as the compensation offered was accused of being ungenerous, and they involved breaking up existing plotland settlements. However, building began in 1956, with the town inaugurated in 1962. Particularly notable is the 14 storey tall Brooke House, a local landmark comprising 84 flats.

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Brooke House, Town Square, Basildon (View on Map)
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Radical Essex is a project re-examining the county in relation to radicalism in thought, lifestyle, politics and architecture. A programme of events will take place across Essex throughout 2016 and 2017, shedding light on the vibrant, pioneering thinking of the late 19th and 20th centuries. The project will celebrate the crucial role Essex has played in the history of British Modernism and its utopian ideologies under the themes ‘The Modernist County’ and ‘Arcadia for All’.

The Radical Essex site is designed by Fraser Muggeridge studio and Alex Rich, developed by Twelve.

Radical Essex is led by Focal Point Gallery in collaboration with Visit Essex and Firstsite. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England it forms part of the country wide Cultural Destinations programme, a partnership with VisitEngland, supporting arts organisations to work with the tourism sector to deliver projects that maximise the impact culture has on local economies.

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If you are a business or arts organisation interested to be involved in the project or learn more information, please contact us here

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our project partners: