Saturday June 18th – 11.00am – 18.00pm
Sunday June 19th – 11.00am – 18.00pm
Exhibition: Silchester Residents’ Rooms, Base of Frinstead House, Freston Road W10 6TZ. Entrance via MoreWest garden gate at the end of Shalfleet Drive.
Construction of Silchester Estate began in 1969, built by the Greater London Council on land made available by the slum clearances of Notting Dale. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea hold the freehold, and it is managed by the Kensington & Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation. The boundaries of the estate are formed by the Westway, the Western Cross Route and the elevated Hammersmith and City tube line.
The estate is composed of 4 x 20-storey towers and a number of low-rise buildings that range from cottages to 4-bedroom maisonettes. A number of additional infill developments have been added over the years. The beautifully landscaped Waynflete Square is the heart of the estate. The original buildings are constructed from in-situ reinforced concrete frames (in the towers) and slabs and crosswalls, with infill in a light-grey brick. This common palette unifies the diverse forms that make up the estate.
The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is currently undertaking costly feasibility studies into regenerating the entire estate and surrounding area, including blocks owned by various housing associations. The current “most viable” option would see around 680 dwellings demolished, including the towers and our public green spaces, as well as the loss of sporting facilities and gardens owned by the Westway Trust.
The estate has therefore clearly been earmarked for demolition. This month the Council will decide whether to consider pursuing its demolition agenda, and Silchester residents will find out whether their homes and community are scheduled for demolition to make way for a so-called “conservation area of the future”.
Silchester has a strong established community, many of whom have lived here since the Notting Dale slum clearances in the 1960s. We love our homes and gardens and want others to see the real Silchester, not hear the Council’s narrative as they value the estate in pounds per square foot.
Local artist Constantine Gras has been working for several years with residents on both the Silchester and Lancaster West estates around issues of community and regeneration. As part of our hosting of Open Garden Estates, there will be an exhibition of his work alongside tours of the estate and a community picnic.
Constantine Gras was the first V&A artist in residence to be based outside the museum with a studio on Silchester during 2014-15. For Open Garden Estates he will be presenting the community art work produced during his residency and including more recent work about housing and regeneration. This includes a programme of short films, drawings, architectural models and ceramic art made with children and adults at both Silchester and Lancaster West Estates. Constantine will be creating a large scale drawing and sculptural art work from 14.00 – 16.00 across both days. Please drop by to participate.
If you are an estate wanting to participate, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org