Saturday, 19 September 2009

Bracknell's Famous Social Housing High Rise Tour

Recently I toured Bracknell's most famous and only social housing high rise tower block as part of Bracknell open heritage days.

Point Royal (also know as 'the threepenny bit’) was built in 1964 as part of the second neighbourhood project within the new town master plan. Its a seventeen storey block of residential flats designed by Arup Associates, famous for the design of the Sydney Opera House. It is situated in Easthampstead Park Estate within the conservation area.

I went there holding a negative view of tower blocks as they were part of a social experiment that frankly didn't work. I also did not agree with the listing of them. However after speaking to a local resident who showed me around the block after the tour of Easthampstead I now understand the importance of keeping some buildings. Tower blocks don't always work not only because of the design but also for a number of reasons like in some cases resident selection or lack of it. I was told by a long time resident that there used to be a selection that used to involve the local community process which is no longer used.

As with my flats, residents have to cope with the usual social ills of drugs and drink and occasionally mental health issues. It is just as possible to hide away and not interact socially in houses as it is in flats. It also depends on your neighbours and your relationships with them and your willingness to engage.

One surprising feature of the Point Royal is the fire escape route. You go around the outside of the building past the windows and then go into the staircase. Another interesting feature is the car park, this was once an open space, now gated off to protect the vehicles. Its hard to see the route in which adds a bit of mystery and is contained within the hill, built in a circle around the bottom of the building. The base of the tower has a large mass of concrete in an almost space age landscape.

I have taken some pictures of the area please take a look.

http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/environment/env-planning-and-development/env-conservation-areas/env-bracknell-forest-conservation-areas/env-easthampstead-conservation-area.htm





















11 comments:

  1. I used to live in pointroyal and loved it. I really miss it. I'm hoping that some of the residents old and new will join the Pointroyal Facebook page and add photos and interesting memories and items about Pointroyal

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  2. We decided at the Nuremberg Trials that planning aggressive war & bombing civilians were war crimes & massacring, ethnic cleansing, genocide & mass kidnap & rape were crimes against humanity. There is no question that the LibDem leaders, without exception, enthusiastically supported an aggressive war against Yugoslavia conducted overwhelmingly by bombing civilians. That after the occupation of Kosovo they unanimously supported the Massacres, such as Dragodan where at least 210 civilians were murdered by our police, widespread genocide, the ethnic cleansing of at least 350,000 & the kidnap & sale to brothels of thousands, probably 10s of thousands of children. It gas since become public that the British government knew & thus party leaders who are Privy Councillors would have known, that our police kidnapped at at least 1,300 Serbs & dissected them while still alive to sell the parts to our hospitals.

    There is clearly a prima faci case that all those involved, including all the leaders of the party, are personally guilty of these war crimes & crimes against humanity.It seems to me that this is a serious charge yet not only have all LibDem MP's refused to defend themselves in any fact based way* but neither has any
    LibDem blogger & the party has made it a condition of membership that one support this genocide. Indeed most of them (listed here http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/09/lib-dem-bloggers-who-censor-in-nazi.html) have also censored mention of the facts. It should be unnecessary to point out that censorship (& indeed genocide) is anathema to any real liberal.

    I am therefore seeking to find if there is a single "Liberal Democrat" anywhere among the alleged 60,000 members who feels it is possible to dispute, in any factual way, the prima faci case that the entire party leadership are guilty of war crimes, genocide & worse crimes even Hitler didn't match in the Nazi cause. Alternately is there any single party member who disproves of such atrocities & supports the application of the rule of law to such people.


    * The sole person to have been publicly willing to defend the party is Baroness Shirley Williams who admitted that we had done such things but that it was alright because "Milosevic did the same". She supported that allegation by stating that she personally had seen Yugoslav police carrying out the same atrocities as our police when she visited Belgrade in 1995. While I have to accept this as representing the absolute pinnacle of honesty of which she is capable nobody else has seen this & all other sources say that the fighting in Kosovo took place in Kosovo in 1998/9. When asked to give details of these alleged acts she has repeatedly refused. I'm afraid before accepting that there is any truth in her words I would have to see independent evidence.

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  3. Neil, read your post, u are a bit off my topic, but....

    I have to amit I do not know anything about this but I would add that the UK went into yugoslav under the UN banner (I actually have a friend who is a Royal Engineer and saw his friend killed when a truck went over a mine.). Personally this Lib Dem was not a Lib Dem at the time. If the Lib Dems are guity are not all parties guilty as we were not in power. Are not all countrys guilty who got involved, why single us out. There are libs in every county involved in the UN force.

    Anyway calling us Nazi's is a little strong?

    I would ask yourself this What would of happened if there was no intervention? how many Serbs over time would of died if the war was allowed to continue?

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. WTF have any of the 3 comments above got to do with Point Royal

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  6. I was a Bracknell Retained firefighter and attended a flat fire on 16th floor back in 2007/8 I think it was. Had to run up all those damn stairs lol I was entry control officer for the breathing apparatus team. so never got to go in and I always wondered.....are the rooms triangle shape? haha

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    1. The living rooms and entrance halls are non-rectangular, otherwise all the internal rooms have n ormal right angles in them

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  7. I Once knew a nice girl from the 7th floor,but she never liked me becouse i was the devil

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  8. sorry for all hope u are well k from n

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    1. kate sorry shes moved to ireland now !

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  9. We lived on the 6th floor from about '65 to '67. Very nice flat with great views. There was a residents' association so got to meet lots of other tenants. Only downside was a murder on the floor above - but you can't blame Point Royal for that!

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