In a rather unloved (but upcoming) corner of London, north of Paddington Station, stands Paddington Green. Adjacent is a beautiful little church but, uniquely in central London, it is bordered by a freeway of sorts which did not help the already teetering neighbourhood.
The green itself is well kept. It is bordered by the freeway on the South, the little church on the West. The view that follows shows the Easter side seen through the green itself.
And this is a closer look of the Eastern side. Most of these buildings were empty 7-8 years ago. They are beginning to be revitalized, but only very slowly. Note that around the block is a super-secure police station.
What’s on the NORTH side of the green, you ask? A long, uninterrupted rough-concrete base upon which a small high-rise is perched. Even on a very sunny day, you can tell how depressing this building is in London’ more typical cloudy weather. It has, nonetheless, a certain ‘Gropiusian’ balance to it. It’s the base that is really grotty beyond belief, off-putting and basically a blank wall (more evident in the following pic)
Farther back, and also on the very badly conceived plinth/tower system, are these ”ville radieuse” beauties. It is difficult to imagine what these neighbourhoods would have looked like and how bad the crime if the tower builders had also succeeded (which they didn’t) in erasing the existing ‘matrix’ of urban civility and small scale buildings/small block (basically Jane Jacobs to the max)…
Beyond the freeway, you can discern some new developments (that side of the road has seen massive construction in the apt few years). The architecture is more humane, though the scale is monstrous by London standards. I don’t have pictures but the street-level connectivity around these behemoth developments is appalling.