Kensal House : Building

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Kensal House : Building

Ke Building in West London, England, UK – design by Maxwell Fry architect

27 Nov 2013

Kensal House in London

Kensal House, Ladbroke Grove, London
1938
Max Fry with Elizabeth Denby
Modern housing – 68 apartments

Kensal House Tours

Young historians deliver free guided tours
of iconic estate Kensal House to the local community

The rich and eventful history of iconic estate Kensal House will be brought to life through interactive and performative guided tours of this Grade II* listed modernist building designed in 1936 by architect Maxwell Fry with social reformer Elizabeth Denby. The tours are being developed and delivered by young people aged 13-25 taking part in Kensal Voices, SPID Theatre Company’s year-long intergenerational heritage project, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum and the 20th Century Society. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Taking pictures around Kensal House:
Kensal House
photo from SPID Theatre

Kensal Voices was launched in April 2013 by SPID Theatre Company, a charity based in Ladbroke Grove and winner of the First Light Award for Best Animation 2013. The project has seen more than 30 young people involved in journalism, design, multimedia, film, drama, music, and architectural workshops run by industry professionals and exploring the life and times of Kensal House stretching over nine decades from its opening to the present day.

Based on extensive research as well as interviews with residents conducted by the young Kensal Voices team, these budding historians and performers will take visitors on a unique journey through time and space bringing to light the forgotten stories of this landmark building and its residents.

In fifteen-minute intervals, groups of up to five people will be led by project participants through Fry’s dream of an “urban village”. Members of the public can expect fascinating insights into its extraordinary architecture and the social ambitions of its developers.

The tours are taking place on Saturday, 30th November, between 1 and 4pm. The last tour starts at 3.45pm. Places are free, but it is essential to book a slot in advance. To book call 07903 861674 or email youth@spidtheatre.com.

Kensal Voices Ambassador_ Olivia Jones

Olivia Jones (14), newly elected ambassador for Kensal Voices said about the project: “In such a short time, I’ve met so many lovely, inspiring people who support and encourage me to learn and develop new creative skills.”

Kensal Voices

Project Description

The ‘Kensal Voices’ project focuses on the heritage of historic council estate Kensal House. A grade II* listed building in North Kensington, Kensal House was designed by modernist architect Maxwell Fry as a symbol of progression and hope. ‘Kensal Voices’ will follow the journey of Kensal House from its opening in 1936, through to the present day. A group of 20 young participants living in and around Kensal House will work with its older residents throughout each of the project’s three stages. The heritage of the building and its social impact in the community will be explored through detailed research, the creation of oral history testimonies, the development of guided tours and a performance in Kensal House.

Kensal Voices will be delivered in partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum and the 20th Century Society and will be supported by the North and Central Kensington Libraries.

In the first stage of the project, the 20th Century Society will assist young participants in learning research and archive skills as they gather and analyse source materials that offer an insight into the history of Kensal House. The Victoria and Albert Museum will explore modernist architecture and design with the young people through a series of tailored workshops and research sessions. The young people will create a booklet about the estate’s history, which will be distributed to Kensal House residents and made available to the local community by the Central Kensington Library and North Kensington library.

In the second stage of the project, the young people will attend tailored workshops delivered by the Oral History Society, training them to create oral history testimonies and develop interview skills and techniques. Using these skills young people will explore the memories of the older residents of Kensal House and create oral history testimonies that capture experiences of estate life. The 20th Century Society will deliver an architecturally focused guided tour to the young project participants and train them to develop and conduct architectural tours. The V and A will provide CreateTours training to young people, with the opportunity to deliver tours of the Architecture Gallery or other relevant galleries. The young project participants will develop tours of Kensal House and deliver tours themselves to members of the local community.

In the final stage of the project the young people will decide which material they wish to explore further. They will develop this into an estate-based performance, open to the public and free to attend. The performance will draw inspiration from the research conducted, and will incorporate the pamphlet and oral history testimonies. The young participants will form their own company during this stage, and will work with professionals to create a performance that will offer a sense of ownership of both the project and the heritage of their estate.

Kensal House Guided Tours

Project Partners:

– The Victoria and Albert Museum http://www.vam.ac.uk/
– The 20th Century Society http://www.c20society.org.uk/

Supported by: The North and Central Kensington Libraries

Lead Funder: The Heritage Lottery Fund

Kensal House images / information from SPID Theatre

Address: Kensal House Community Rooms, Kensal House, Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5BQ

Max Fry

Further information:

SPID (Specially Produced Innovatively Directed) Theatre Company is an award winning youth organisation that specialises in site-specific and promenade work. Since 2005 it has been based in the Community Rooms on the Kensal House estate.
SPID won the First Light Award for Best Animation 2013 for its short film High Above the Sky and received a four-star review for its most recent production iAM that will be touring schools for free in December.

www.spidtheatre.com

Another SPID Theatre Company project in West London on e-architect:

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To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.


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