> > Lived Brutalism: Portraits at Robin Hood Gardens
Lived Brutalism: Portraits at Robin Hood Gardens

Lived Brutalism: Portraits at Robin Hood Gardens

Photographs by Kois Miah

22 May – 8 June 2019
Tuesday – Saturday
11.00 - 6.00.
Admission free

A photography exhibition recording the lives of residents at Robin Hood Gardens in the estate’s last years before demolition. This ‘streets in the sky’ housing scheme has been celebrated as a masterpiece of concrete modernism and reviled as a ‘concrete monstrosity’, but in neither account do residents feature as more than bit players to someone else’s story.

Against these representations, and the social-cleansing agenda that they serve, Kois Miah’s images chronicle the lives, emotions, and routines that animate this extraordinary council estate by ‘New Brutalist’ architects Alison and Peter Smithson.


In these photographs, people and place, architecture and home are interlaced, as the concrete forms and charged voids of Robin Hood Gardens project a vitality at the edge of demolition. The portraits bear not melancholia for an outmoded social experiment, as council estates are too often portrayed today, but a vibrant community and architecture cut short by the destruction of regeneration.

The exhibition is part of a research collaboration with Nick Thoburn, sociologist at the University of Manchester, whose interviews with residents and writing about the estate accompany the portraits. His article about Robin Hood Gardens is available here.

For free tickets to the private view click here.


Exhibition Talks 

Brutalism, Robin Hood Gardens, and Council Housing ‘As Found’
Saturday 1st June 2-4pm
Talks by Ben Highmore, Ana Vilenica, and Nick Thoburn
All welcome. Further details and free tickets here.

Social Housing Not Social Cleansing!
Saturday 8th June 2-4pm
Talks by campaigns against the demolition and regeneration of London council estates: Focus E15 Campaign, Southwark Notes, Achilles St Campaign, and Save Cressingham Gardens
All welcome. Further details and free tickets here.



Supported by the University of Manchester School of Social Sciences Small Grant scheme.