Neave Brown has long been a beacon of hope. Now he has been awarded architecture's highest honour, we should learn from him to reimagine social housing
- Paul Karakusevic is founder of Karakusevic Carson Architects
When I was a student in the early 1990s, discovering the work of architect Neave Brown was revelatory. At a time when council housing and domestic architecture was at a low ebb, his housing estates, such as the Alexandra Road estate for the London Borough of Camden, designed in the 1970s, were beacons of hope.
Brown's estates were robust reminders of the dramatic progress public housing in the UK had made over the course of the 20th century. Barely 100 years since Charles Booth shone a light on the living conditions of the most needy in London, Brown and his team built on the progressive traditions of public housing in the UK to create some of the best, most innovative homes this country has ever seen.