Runcorn, Stirling and the Desirable Dwelling

Aurora Fernández Per

February 06, 2018

Runcorn, Stirling and the Desirable Dwelling

We went to Runcorn in 1983. Javier Mozas and I drove through England and Scotland in an old Renault 5 that only started downhill. We made a pilgrimage to the works of James Stirling, among them the Southgate Estate in Runcorn, a medium-sized industrial town near Liverpool. At the time the project was only 6 years old. Twenty years later, in a conversation with Tony Fretton regarding his monographic edition, I confessed that I wasn’t surprised that the project had failed* as I personally wouldn't have liked to live in that environment. This sounded like blasphemy and at the time I regretted saying so. Fifteen years on from that conversation, I'm glad I did. My admiration for Stirling's work has only grown since then but those were not desirable dwellings.

*The Southgate project by James Stirling and Partners, 1968-1977, was demolished in 1992.

stirling-runcorn

stirling-runcorn

stirling-runcorn

stirling-runcorn

stirling-runcorn

stirling-runcorn

Photos: Javier Mozas

 

collective-housing-masterpieces

 


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