From 4 October till 3 March 2018 an amazing temporary exhibition at Welcome Collection will tell you about the role of our environment and buildings, and how place where do we live efforts on our mental and physical health (negative or positive). The material from which our houses are made, the color, the sanitised conditions – all of this affects our mood and health.
The buildings we live affect how we sleep, breath, adapt in society, how much we love ourselves (our self-confidence). Surrounding buildings also affect our mental state, whether we live inside or if they are just part of our environmental. The exhibition starts from Victorian London (since the 19 century), manuscript of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” (“that nothing effectual can be done for the elevation of the poor in England, until their dwelling places are made decent and wholesome”), through World War II (modernism, new buildings and high-rise blocks) to the present time with designs for garden cities and ideal villages. Some posters from exhibition tell you “Bad environment causes ill health. Good environment is the basis of health”.
I was more impressed with Chris Dowley-Brown work about Lincoln Court (1987-2011). How Hackney place buildings changed for 35 years. He looks photo of same building from the same perspective, decades apart.
1987. 14 floors building with big windows without balcony staying on his “legs”. Grey concrete building with yellow bottom. Building looks nice with the exception of strange way how windows open. I find out from Flickr website (https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisdb1/3212296685) what Charlene Riskz said about this: “My aunt and uncle used to live in those when they were the old style. The most dangerous windows you could ever imagine. As a kid we used to hang out of them but if you lent on one and it happened to be open.. then you would be out the window. And they lived on the top floor (15th)” .
2011. Tower have been renovated in major external changes.This has included the widespread application of cladding. Building looks quite the same from outside. There changes: bright yellow paint from bottom changed to red, and windows improved a lot. You might ask: why was it necessary to change the appearance of the building, if it looked better before the change? Ostensibly applied to improve weather-proofing and sound insulation, these treatment also veneered over the increasingly unpopular architecture of the postwar period. So building now looks more warm, safe and protected from soul outside no matter what the design has changed for the worse.
I would be quite depressed If I live there. Looks grey and boring, as huge buildings make you live like in cell.
In conclusion, I would say that idea of exhibition relevant in our time too. Some part of exhibiton are models of ideal villages which I think far away from reality. Anyway must have to visit.