Radical ESSEX




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Bishopsfield Estate, Harlow

Known locally as ‘the Kasbah’  the Bishopsfield Estate, just south of Harlow New Town, is credited as influencing many later generations of architects and town planners. Its design was chosen via an open competition in 1961, and the winner was 24-year old graduate Michael Neylan, who at the time was working as a graduate with Chamberlin, Powell & Bon.

After winning, Neylan quickly recruited William Ungless as his partner to work on the 256 dwellings. The patio houses and maisonettes are L-shaped, with between one and five bedrooms, and living areas arranged around a courtyard. The bold design was an attempt to import a Mediterranean atmosphere in the estate, with narrow lanes and privacy for residents. It won a Civic Trust Award in 1968 and Housing Design Award in 1969, and Neylan and Ungless went on to work on other housing projects including those in the London Borough of Southwark.

More information here.

Bishopsfield, Harlow, CM18 6UJ (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: