Demolished: Glasgow´s Red Road flats
by Sam Bunton & Associates, Glasgow, Scotland, 1964-1969
DATE: 0/0/0
"Glasgow´s Red Road flats final demolition
Explosions on Sunday, 12 October, destroy most of the iconic postwar housing estate

Explosions on Sunday, 12 October, destroy most of the iconic postwar housing estate
The demolition of the famously infamous Red Road estate, in Glasgow, is nearing its end. On Sunday past, 12 October, the remaining six of originally eight high-rise residential buildings were brought down by explosion. The demolition as been a long affair, with the first tower block falling in 2012 and a slab following in 2013. In 2014, the proposal to incorporate the demolish the remaining tower into the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, hosted in Glasgow, was abandoned, due to an outcry by the public - although officially health and safety reasons were stated. And the demolition is not yet fully complete, as the upper levels of two of the tower blocks were only reduced by about a dozen storeys and still need to be removed through mechanical demolition work. (It appears that the controlled explosions have not gone fully to plan, with a few more storeys remaining than had been planned.)
Once housing about 5000 inhabitants and being the tallest residential buildings in Europe, with 31 storeys, they were not only iconic buildings, but also mementos of an era of state-provided housing long gone. "When Red Road was first constructed in 1967 they were seen as the utopian answer to the city’s pressing housing shortage and the clearance of the worst slums in Western Europe", as the photographer and film director Chris Leslie, who has followed the estates demise over the past years, puts it in his blog Never Ending Red Road. Although nearly 50 years old, the Red Road flats still raise questions for current politics, maybe today even more than in the past, as is argued in an article of the UK edition of The Conversation, for which Demolishing iconic tower blocks is an attack on whole idea of social housing."

Image: BBC

[by Docomomo Scotland]