East London's Fredd Wigg and John Walsh Towers by Tom Oliver Payne

Often a city's ugliest buildings are its most controversial.

The Fred Wigg and John Walsh Towers in London’s were loaded up with missile launchers during the London olympics - making the tenants inside a potential target. Now, at the forefront of the gentrifying east end, it’s likely that the towers will soon be demolished and redeveloped. The tenants, however, still don't know how long until they will be 'decanted'.

The speed at which this city changes constantly amazes me - but unfortunately - affordable housing tenants are too often left in limbo during the development process. I'd love to see these buildings recreated into something beautiful. I'd also love to see space made for existing tenants who have spent decades building a life within the community.

Either way, it looks like these buildings will soon be cleared from London's landscape, or - at least - remade into something new. I made the images below to document their place within amongst the skyline before they're no more.



Demolition has begun: photos from Robin Hood Gardens by Tom Oliver Payne

Despite years of campaigning from heritage groups and architects, the bulldozers have now moved in. The demolition of Robin Hood Gardens is now well underway. The western block is now in partial ruins. The eastern block is still occupied and is set to be razed in the new year. 

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SMH Article: What Sydney can learn from London's approach to brutalist architecture by Tom Oliver Payne

"Sirius, just like Trellick, Balfron and the Barbican in London, illustrates important aspects of the nation's social and cultural history."Last week I had an opinion piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald on brutalist architecture in Sydney and London. 

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Dawson’s Heights: architecture with social conscience by Tom Oliver Payne

Architecture today is generally about making other people big bucks, but Dawson's Heights  reminds us of a time when architecture strived to create a better society through design. 

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The best of Oslo's new architecture by Tom Oliver Payne

When I stepped out at Oslo Central Station, I found myself surrounded by interesting new buildings of tonnes of shapes and sizes. With half the waterfront still under construction, it quickly became clear to me that Oslo is experiencing an architectural explosion. 

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Why Copenhagen is such an incredible city by Tom Oliver Payne

Everyone knows that Copenhagen is the happiest city in the world, but not so many people appreciate just how interesting it is. As a regular visitor I've listed out my top reasons why Copenhagen is the world's coolest city.

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Re-thinking Architecture in Manilla by Tom Oliver Payne

As much as I love a cool bit of design for the sake of design, I'm much more interested in design which innovates the way we live. Today, we are faced with major environmental challenges, and it's important that everything we create seeks to improve the world we live in - even if these ideas are super simple. 

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Skateboarding Vs Architecture by Tom Oliver Payne

Skating is growing like crazy. Although skateparks are awesome, and will continue to hold their place in the city, they aren't necessarily the future. The future is integrating skating into our urban public domain. This can be done through changes in urban design and architecture, and by helping to alter the perceptions that law makers, city managers, and residents have of skaters in the city.

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