Changing Lives

Robert Owen, 1771 - 1858. Pioneer socialistRobert Owen, 1771 - 1858. Pioneer socialist Design for the Dean Orphanage, EdinburghDesign for the Dean Orphanage, Edinburgh Rev. Thomas Chalmers, 1780 - 1847. Preacher and social reformerRev. Thomas Chalmers, 1780 - 1847. Preacher and social reformer Landscape with ruinLandscape with ruin Close No. 101 High Street, GlasgowClose No. 101 High Street, Glasgow Three Studies for the Decoration of the first Mortuary Chapel, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, EdinburghThree Studies for the Decoration of the first Mortuary Chapel, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh Pitch and TossPitch and Toss Children and Chalked Wall 3Children and Chalked Wall 3 Sir Basil Urwin Spence, 1907 - 1976. ArchitectSir Basil Urwin Spence, 1907 - 1976. Architect TenderTender

Lida Moser

Sir Basil Urwin Spence, 1907 - 1976. Architect
1949

After the Second World War, the need for better housing became a central political issue. Many local authorities, now run by the Labour party, set out to build large numbers of council-owned homes. In Scotland, the architect Sir Basil Spence designed houses, schools and university buildings, but his name is forever linked with the gigantic Hutchesontown 'C' redevelopment in Glasgow's Gorbals district. These high-rise buildings, with inside toilets and large balconies, were intended as high-quality alternatives to the area’s slum tenements. However, social exclusion and poor execution of the designs meant that the buildings deteriorated very quickly into dirty and dilapidated dwellings. Social problems and deprivation persisted, and the buildings were eventually demolished in 1993.

  • Credits Purchased 1984
  • Medium Silver gelatine print
  • Size 25.40 x 30.40 cm
© The Artist

Did you know?

Basil Spence famously described his plans for the Gorbals flats rather too optimistically: ‘On Tuesdays, when the washing's out, it'll be like a great ship in full sail.’ For further information on Sir Basil Spence visit the Sir Basil Spence Archive Project website.