The Brilliance of Alexandra Road
Research Paper - Presented at ACSA Conference 109 (March 2021)
Author: Zhan Chen
Neave Brown’s Alexandra Road Estate stretches over a quarter mile and houses 1,660 residents in 520 units. The 16.3-acre site contains three housing blocks, two pedestrian streets, public park, retail, school, and community center. Completed in 1979, the project was part of a major building program for new models of dense, social housing in the Camden Borough of London. Unlike the reductive post-war typologies of towers and slabs, Alexandra Road is a radical reinterpretation of traditional English housing and urbanism. This paper examines the project’s design strategies and describes how these strategies provide uncommon freedoms in high-density housing.