‘The White Flats’ Film; a Blueprint for Design Excellence

Friday, May 17th, 2024

It was a real pleasure to attend last Thursday’s special screening of ‘The White Flats’, a short film produced by Jo McCafferty of Levitt Bernstein and Rachel Stevenson of David Miller Architects . The film explores the qualities of Highgate New Town Phase 1 (known as the Whittington Estate), a housing estate built for the London Borough of Camden between 1972 and 1979, from the perspective of its residents. The film has been created entirely by residents, who have shot it, edited it, composed the music, provided photographs and reminiscences, and starred in it. The film provides a rare insight into residents’ lived experience on this 45 year old estate which, in this instance, is full of positivity and genuine love for the community and landscape.

The Q&A which followed the screening offered an opportunity for Jo and Rachel to speak further on how the estate is an exemplar of high quality housing design. Both having lived on the estate for many years themselves, they spoke both as architects and residents on why the design is so successful. They rightfully highlighted that with upcoming elections and the redrafting of the London Plan there is an opportunity to radically change the way we are designing housing to better benefit the wellbeing of residents. We believe that the film will be a great catalyst for this conversation.

Please do watch The White Flats to see the impact that great housing delivers.