I was lucky enough to attend a wonderful evening event at Goldsmiths, University of London, on 19th March 2015 on Walter Segal and self-build movement. It was organised by Michaela Benson, a senior lecturer in the sociology at Goldsmiths. The evening began with a screening of a documentry made in 1982 by the BBC's Community Programme Unit as part of the Open Door series. The House that Mum and Dad Built followed the building of Segal Close in Lewisham, one of the self-build projects led by Walter Segal. It contained an interview with Segal himself, with self-builders, and council personnel who enabled the project to happen. One of the strong messages from the film was that with the right design, support and determination people without special technical knowledge or ability can build their own houses. After the film testimonies from those involved revealed how lives were changed for the better by the process of building and how a strong community was formed by the collective effort involved. Another theme was the relevance of projects like Segal Close today. There is a growing interest in the potential of self-build to help with the UK's shortage of affordable housing. Groups like RUSS have emerged as the current advocates of Segal self-build, campaigning to develop similar housing projects today.
I am hoping to post a link to the film shortly.
I became interested in Walter Segal while looking for somewhere to live in south London. Exploring the neighbourhood of Forest Hill I noticed a small enclave of unusual looking houses. The road was unlike anything I had seen in London before - quiet and filled with trees and birdsong. The houses were box-like and covered in panels of different shades of cream and beige. Shortly after I became the proud owner of one of these homes and set myself the mission of finding out how these unusual dwellings came about. This blog will document my learning about
This blog is about the life and work of architect Walter Segal. I am a fan of Segal and the current administrator of this website. I life in one of the Segal Self-build houses in Lewisham and want more people to know about and be inspired by this unusual architect.