Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate, London NW8

Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate
Rowley Way NW8
The last large social housing complex in London – a low-rise, high-density enclave. Terraced housing reinterpreted. Listed Grade II* in 1993.
Architect: Neave Brown
Year Built: 1968–79

To use a clichéd expression, this estate really is a concrete jungle. The exposed concrete is looking a little stained these days and many of the tenants seem to like using the balconies as dumping grounds but the stepped structure and the amount of foliage means that the overall effect is still impressive.

The photos below are of a small split-level two-bed with the bedrooms and bathroom on the lower level and an open plan living area upstairs, almost half of which consists of a very large balcony. A sliding door separates the (original and very brown) kitchen/diner and the living room. The flooring is an interesting mixture of cork, woven mats and wooden slats and there are high quality wooden features (staircase, panelling) throughout.

I’ve heard that it’s difficult to get mortgages on this estate due to the concrete structure of the buildings and local authority status but judging from recent listings, this flat would still probably be valued at about £375,000-400,000.

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