Remoteness: Robin Hood Gardens

By Cidália Ferreira Silva and Fernando Ferreira.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 20, 2016 $US5.00

Remoteness commonly means the distance between things, either in space or in time. What distance is this? Distance is the length between two points, which is a quantitative feature, an in-between measurement. For example, in ordinary discourse we refer to remote places as distant places, the ones from which we feel physically or temporarily distant, the ones we don’t see, the ones that are somehow untouchable. Is this in-between only a linear measurement? In order to unfold this question, the present paper selects Robin Hood Gardens (RHG), a residential project in Poplar, London, designed by the architects Alison and Peter Smithson in the late 1960s and built in 1972. This case study is explored through two in-betweens: in-between Here and There and in-between Now and Then. “Here and There” discloses the relationship between one’s body and place. It focuses on becoming closer to or distant from Robin Hood Gardens; asking underlies our feelings of remoteness. We ask: why do we (not) get closer, why do we (not) approach? “Now and Then” presents the relationship between one’s body and time-space. It focuses on the feeling of remoteness in travelling across the space and moving back and forth in time. We ask: why do we (not) traverse between spaces and between the future and past in Robin Hood Gardens?

Keywords: Remoteness, Robin Hood Gardens, Urban Regeneration, Relationship between Body and Time-Space

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 7, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.39-49. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 20, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.211MB)).

Cidália Ferreira Silva

Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Integrated Research Member, Lab2PT, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal

Fernando Ferreira

Invited Assistant, School of Architecture, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal