Post-War Redevelopment in London

The 1931 national census showed that there was a shortage of around a million homes and an inquiry on behalf of the Architects’ Journal in 1934 put this figure at 1.4 million with 167,750 of them being required in London. The incumbent Labour government adopted a housing plan which had the following primary objectives:

A self-contained house for every family of two or more persons, at a rent it can afford to pay.
The abolition of overcrowding.
The demolition of the slums and every unfit house.
The thorough repair of every house that can be made fit.
The large-scale replanning of built-up areas, with provision for open spaces, the strict control and planning of developing areas, and the preservation of the countryside.

The situation improved greatly and 369,903 homes were built in 1937 compared with 196,500 in 1931 however, this progress was halted by World War II.

The main London Blitz took place between 7th September 1940 and 11th May 1941. Over a million houses were damaged or destroyed during the Blitz and one in six Londoners were homeless at some point during this period. The bombing of the City and West End areas also took a heavy toll on commercial premises. A large rebuilding exercise was required and planning for this started well before the end of the war.

The County of London Plan was prepared in 1943 for the London County Council by J H Forshaw, Architect to the London County Council and Patrick Abercrombie, Professor of Town Planning, University College, London. As well as the obvious need to rebuild the bombed-out sections of the City, it also considered the four major defects of London at that time:

Overcrowded and out-of-date housing
Inadequate and maldistributed open spaces
The jumble of houses and industry compressed between road and rail communication
Traffic congestion


(to be continued)

Picture Galleries

Subject Galleries
Each gallery highlights a single building or estate of particular interest.

National Theatre Brunswick Centre Churchill Gardens

Hayward Gallery

Brunswick Centre Churchill Gardens Estate




(18, includes notes)


Hayward Gallery Drapers Gardens Millbank Tower
Hayward Gallery Drapers Gardens Millbank Tower
(6) (7) (16)
Centre Point Alexandra Road
Centre Point Alexandra Road Estate
(16) (14)


Area Galleries
Based on the areas used in the Pevsner guides, this is intended to be an archive of post-war buildings. The inclusion of a building does not infer architectural merit.

Chelsea City Hampstead

London Chelsea

London City London Hampstead






Holborn Kensington Lambeth
London Holborn London Kensington London Lambeth






Mayfair & Piccadilly Paddington Pimlico
London Mayfair London Paddington London Pimlico






Soho South Westminster & Victoria Southwark
London Soho South Westminster & Victoria London Southwark






St. James's St. Marylebone St. Pancras
London St. James's London St. Marylebone London St. Pancras






Strand, Covent Garden etc Tower Hamlets
London Strand London Tower Hamlets



All pictures Andrew Cromar 2004-2007. Click here to contact me