Rising from London’s Erith marshes in the 1960s, Thamesmead – now home to over 40,000 people – was London County Council’s bold attempt to build a new town to address the city’s housing shortage after the Second World War. Noted for its daring, experimental design – concrete modern terraces, blocks of flats and elevated walkways built around a system of lakes and canals – the town received attention from architects, sociologists and politicians throughout the world but also gained notoriety as the backdrop to Stanley Kubrick’s film, ‘A Clockwork Orange’.
In ‘The Town of Tomorrow’, 50 years of Thamesmead’s history have been assembled and preserved. The architecture of the town and its inhabitants are captured by archive material combined with newly commissioned photography by Tara Darby. Original plans, models, postcards, leaflets and newspaper cuttings are presented alongside interviews with local residents. Together with an introductory essay by John Grindrod, the images convey the story of this pioneering town, from the dreams and excitement of its ambitious original vision to the complex realities of living there today.
Published by Here Press, 188 pgs, 26.5 × 21.5 cm, Hardcover, 2019, 9780993585395