London's Brutalist Housing Blocks Just Got a Bright Upgrade

Housing estates in London are a little intimidating from the outside; many of the post-war structures are hulking Brutalist towers surrounded by a complicated labyrinth of monochrome concrete. But one complex in London just got an upgrade—and oh, what a difference color can make.

Lambeth's Stockwell Park, the estate in question, recently got a new look from the placemakers at FutureCity, who teamed up with hat-trick design studio to come up with a damn cheery series of bright tiles that now serve as a wayfinding system throughout the flats.

London's Brutalist Housing Blocks Just Got a Bright Upgrade

London's Brutalist Housing Blocks Just Got a Bright Upgrade

London's Brutalist Housing Blocks Just Got a Bright Upgrade

Local artists and creative types—designers, illustrators, and graffiti artists—were commissioned to contribute patterns to the project, which flank everything from on-site maps to address plates to birdhouse roofs. The result is a pretty wide-ranging mish-mash of styles that shouldn't necessarily work together as a whole, but do—sort of like a multicultural housing estate in London.

London's Brutalist Housing Blocks Just Got a Bright Upgrade

London's Brutalist Housing Blocks Just Got a Bright Upgrade

London's Brutalist Housing Blocks Just Got a Bright Upgrade

These kinds of subtle touches can actually go a long way—for visitors, who will have a clear visual on how to get from here to there, but also for residents, who likely don't have much authority to jazz up the surroundings on their own. And since all the selected works were inspired by the neighborhood, hopefully the results help to inspire a bit of local pride. [Design Indaba]