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Another of my anti-hero architect, James Stirling's apparent fiasco's, social housing in Runcorn.  Even when I visited in 1977 and the second phase (the low-rise fibreglass terraced housing) was nearing completion, the entire development was roundly condemned by the architectural community as an unfair experiment on the under-privileged.  As I wandered around the high-rise first and then the low-rise parts, I talked with the local residents who seemed rather less critical.  Perhaps they were just too proud to admit they were living as guinea pigs or maybe they really were happy with their shiny new homes.  So exploitative experiment in industrialising social housing construction, or misunderstood architectural masterpiece...or somewhere in between?


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Jeremy Harrison 2005-2020