The Project

Tower Block UK emphasises the social and architectural importance of tower blocks and frames multi-storey social housing as a coherent and accessible nationwide heritage. As multi-storey blocks increasingly vanish from our horizons, this project answers the need to document and create an engagement with the history of multi-storey social housing at a local and national level.

In re-evaluating the historical, architectural and social importance of high-rise living, Tower Block UK aims to provide a forum for the sharing of images, experiences and memories. By providing a searchable image archive in tandem with various public engagement activities, Tower Block UK brings together both tangible and intangible sources for thinking about recent social history.

Tower Block UK hopes to help form an integral step in banishing the negative assumptions surrounding life in multi-storey social housing. This step is all the more pertinent today in an age where the manifestations of the post-war drive to build affordable high-density housing are increasingly disappearing, irrevocably altering the physical and social fabric of the urban environment.

On this site, there is a diverse range of links to other websites and partner organisations concerned with post-war mass housing (in particular DOCOMOMO which deals with documentation and conservation of the Modern Movement). We hope this will set the UK experience, including the internationally unique system of ‘council housing’, in a wider global context.

We aim to expand the archive to include comments and photographs from residents or ex-residents, and welcome submissions via e-mail or the comment section for each development in the database.

If you have any queries please contact Hannah Garrow at hannah.garrow@ed.ac.uk