An  Architect now retired also keen on Arts, Crafts and Ceramics who was born and spent earlier years on Indian sub-continent, but studied and practiced architecture in England.
I have lived a large part of working life in Buckinghamshire, England where most of my buildings exist. The involvement with the new city of Milton Keynes started soon after its inception and lasted throughout the heydays of early growth, but now restricted to close observation of maturing and decaying of the city.
My Blog closely follows the themes of Flickr pages which are gradually becoming a record of significant building types built during second half of 20th century. A number of images are scans of slides taken over 4-5 decades from college days till the recent digital era. The collection illustrates some buildings now demolished, altered, partially hidden, weathered or managed to stand the test of time by looking as good as ever.
However, the anger and disappointment often brims from comments when neglect and ignorance needlessly wastes well-meaning efforts and scarce resources.
I continue to revisit some of the projects to see them age and mature, and hope that the sharing of this experience would offer a glimpse of the role the passage of time plays on inspirations, intentions, reality, disappointments and the built environments.

I suppose it is only natural that the choice of buildings on my Flickr and Blog is reflected by the influence these had on me and my generation.

I hope to use this blog alongside my Flickr site. The intention is to pick up the architectural, planning, arts and crafts  issues, related news  and projects in more details here without worrying about the constraints of Flickr.

Hopefully, the blog could focus on the background and details of Flickr contents and make it easier for interested friends to paticipate in more specific discussions and comments.

35 Responses to “About”

  1. Lisa Harmey Says:

    I first came across your photos of Milton Keynes on Flickr and now I have found the blog. I am an architect, I live sometimes in North America-unlike many of my colleagues I cannot ignore the suburban or the new town. Look forward to picking through this, particularly interested in some of the new developments, have to see what you think!

    • winslowhub Says:

      Lisa,
      Thanks for your comments. For some reason ( I can guess it though) the American connection with Milton Keynes keep surfacing. I look forward to see your work as well.

  2. Talha Muftee Says:

    aoa.i just randomly came acros ur blog n m in awe to c sum1 sharing valuable knowlegde.m a student of architecture in National College of Arts currently in 2nd and hopefully ur blog will help develop my general knowledge.
    looking fwd to learn
    Talha Muftee

  3. Nina Says:

    Hello Iqbal,
    I saw images of the Olivetti trainingcenter in Haslemere on your Flickr account. I work for Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster. At the moment I am working on a TV piece about Corporate architecture and the Olivetti training center is a great example for CA.
    Do you think you could send me some images of the center that you have taken, so I could include them into the report. Sorry, I am in quite a hurry and would need them by tomorrow noon.
    Any questions please get back to me. Unfortunately I cannot offer you money, but we would of course put your copyright in the images. I would need pictures that show the resemblance to Computer Body, like http://www.flickr.com/photos/iqbalaalam/2232755006/in/set-72157603795239854/ or http://www.flickr.com/photos/iqbalaalam/2231964137/

    Thank you so much!
    Nina

  4. Shehani Fernando Says:

    Dear Iqbal
    I wondered where you found the coffee hall plans that you’ve used on the blog here: https://iqbalaalam.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/early-grids-of-milton-keynes-coffee-hall/

    Do you know who owns the copyright? We’re making a short film about architecturee with Jonathan Glancey for teh Guardian’s website and I’m looking for photos of particular estates – Netherfield, Beanhill, Coffee Hall and Fuller’s Slade. Did you take your own pictures of some of these and if so would we be allowed to use them if we credit you at the end of the film?
    Shehani
    07815 042148
    Shehani

  5. Martin Says:

    Dear Iqbal,

    Apologies for contacting you through the comments section of your blog.
    We enjoyed looking at your pictures of the Medieval & Renaissance at the V&A on Flickr and would appreciate if you would get in touch.

    Regards,

    Martin

  6. simon Says:

    Hi Iqbal,

    I came across your picture of teh ferrier estate on flicker and i’d really like to email you directly about them. I’m a documentary maker based in Greenwich. If you don’t mind please send me an email to the above email and i’ll get back to you in more detail. Thanks for posting teh photos and hope to hear from you.

    simon

  7. Neville Rae Says:

    Hello Iqbal,
    My name is Neville Rae and I am an artist who has been working on numerous projects in Cumbernauld. I came across one of your images of Cumbernauld on Flickr. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to let me use one of these images in an online article that I am writing at the moment?
    Very best wishes,

    Neville Rae
    e- neville_rae@hotmail.com

  8. Arif Mehmood Says:

    Dear Iqbal,
    Just came across your stunning photos of the Wolfson College by P&M – wonderful trip down the memory lane – I worked for them in the late 70’s.

    It will be good to hear from you.

    Best wishes,

    Arif Mehmood

    • winslowhub Says:

      Thanks Arif, P&M produced some wonderful buildings. You must have worked on their hospitals or university buildings.
      I hope to contact you via Email.
      Iqbal

  9. Elizabeth Williamson Says:

    Dear Iqbal

    I wrote the section on Milton Keynes for the Buildings of England series volume on Buckinghamshire (Penguin, 1994). I have remained interested in the city and am giving a paper on aspects of it to the Oxford Architectural Society next week. I have just come across your wonderful photographs of MK – the best I have ever seen and taken with real understanding. I would very much like to use three of your images: one of MacCormac’s Heelands, one of Netherfield and another of Richardson’s housing at Great Linford. I wonder if that would be possible. I would of course credit you and draw attention to your photostream.

    I do hope you can help.
    Very best wishes

    Elizabeth

    • winslowhub Says:

      Dear Elizabeth,
      Thanks for your kind comments. I know your book well and it remains an important resource for me. I would be delighted for you to use the photographs you have mentioned. Like you my interests in MK remains alive and I am preparing more photographs on early housing schemes and their current state. I am looking forward to a revised edition of your book at some future date.
      It would be nice to remain in touch with you. You are welcome to contact me at winslowbucks23@googlemail.com any time you wish.
      With best wishes.
      Iqbal

  10. Naomi Crawford Says:

    (I also posted this on your Flickr page)

    Hi Iqbal – I was so happy to come across your great photos as I’m writing about The Ryde for my Diploma dissertation. I just wondered if you would be so kind as to tell me whose house you went inside (my email is naomi.crawford@live.co.uk). I work at PRP (previously Phippen Randall Parkes) and I am in contact with Peter but I do not have a contact that still lives there, so if you would be kind enough to let me know it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Naomi


  11. Iqbal, many thanks for your numerous additions to the Milton Keynes Flickr Group. I have only just found your blog and read it with great interest.

    Yours Sincerely – Stuad70

  12. maria peralta Says:

    Thank you for producing this webpage, packed with wonderful architectural info, especially on MK. I good read too

  13. Moira Says:

    What a wonderful blog! We recently moved from the Regency splendour of Brighton’s Kemp Town to the edge of the slated and misunderstood Lakes. Whilst it is only a temporary stop for us, we are fascinated by the original vision of the estate, it’s greeness and open-spaces and the layout.

    I would be interested on your thoughts on this development which I understand is the earliest, built by the Greater London Council to house the workforce who built MK.

    Keep up the great work on documenting the development of MK with such knowledge and insight.

    • winslowhub Says:

      Thanks for your kind words. The change from Brighton to Lakes must be quite daunting but I notice that with your broader outlook you have correctly positioned this estate in a significant historical context.
      The concept, if I remember correctly, was to take the over-spill of London population to the growing town of Bletchley. The city of Milton Keynes came later and Lakes of course did become part of Milton Keynes. I am certain that lack of housing for the labour force constructing MK meant that they were housed here in large numbers.The mismanagement by the local council was almost identical to the problems of the ‘sink estates’ faced by early housing I have discussed in ‘early grids of northern Milton Keynes’ in my Blog.
      GLC had huge experience in designing social housing and town planning and Lakes was a good example in every respect. They even built a mini-megastructure in the centre echoing Cumbernauld centre.
      The sad decline was serious indeed and people would refuse to move there even if you offered them money. The properties could be bought for nominal sums. All of this was totally avoidable if the right steps were taken at all appropriate stages.
      This story was repeated all over the country in this period but I can give you examples that almost identical housing schemes with intelligent management have thrived and survive to this day with environments and standards which are a cause of envy to many subsequent private housing tenants/owners.


  14. Dear Iqbal,

    Your blog is fascinating! I’m editor of Nordic culture website Moose Report, and we’re about to publish a story on St Catherine’s College Oxford – we’ve interviewed staff and students about the beauty and ideals of the buildings but also about the problems that have emerged within them over the last 50 years. I was wondering if you could allow us to use some of your flickr photographs. MR is a not-for-profit site currently and none of our contributors are paid, but obviously we could link to your blog and flag your contributions on Twitter etc.

    I understand if you don’t feel you can give your pictures away for free, but it would be wonderful to be able to use them. You can email me at melloraj@hotmail.com and the site is at moosereport.net

    Thanks for your time –

    Andrew


  15. […] and Iqbal Aalam. Iqbal Aalam is a Buckinghamshire-based architect who writes a design blog here: https://iqbalaalam.wordpress.com/about/ More photos are on his flickr pages here: […]

  16. John G Ellis Says:

    Dear Iqbal,
    My father was Tom Ellis of Lyons Israel Ellis and I was delighted to see your beautiful flikr photographs of some of their buildings, the University of Westminster College of Science and Engineering, the Old Vic annexe and the recently demolished David Lister School in Hull. The work of the practice has attracted interest recently with a reappraisal of the virtues of the Brutalism era and the architecture of the post war Welfare State. I was also pleased to see the photos you took of work by Richard MacCormac with whom I worked in London many years ago before moving to California where I now live and work. I was the project architect on their Great Linford housing project in Milton Keynes.
    I follow your flikr images with great interest.
    Kind regards John Ellis

    • winslowhub Says:

      Dear John,
      Thanks for your kind words. I am a real admirer of Lyons Israel Ellis’s work and hope to see more of their work before it disappears. I bumped into your sister on Olympic Games site not long ago. She also knows me from Flickr pages. It was such a rare coincidence and a real delight.
      Richard MacCormac’s death was a sad loss. I met him once or twice and exchanged few memories with him. He worked for London Borough of Merton with my old boss Phillip Whittle who hired him and few of his friends and gave them a free hand to build two of the most significant housing schemes of that period in Mitcham London.
      I am hoping to visit these soon. What kind of work are you doing in California? I hope to write to you on your Email address soon. Best Wishes.
      Iqbal Aalam

  17. John G Ellis Says:

    Dear Iqbal,
    How nice to hear back from you so promptly.
    I am putting together material for a lecture I plan to give next year to the 20th Century Society in their series ‘My Parent the Architect’ about my father’s work. Tom Ellis joined Edward Lyons and Lawrence Israel in 1947 and helped push the practice into a Corbusian direction in their post war work for the Welfare State. The practice attracted a number of influential staff in the 1950’s and 60’s and it was regarded at the time as an advanced apprenticeship studio before many of them departed to start their own firms. These included both James Stirling and James Gowan, Alan Colquhoun and John Miller, Rick Mather, Richard MacCormac, Neave Brown and Eldred Evans amongst others.
    I subsequently worked for Richard MacCormac when he first set up his office in the early 1970’s and we remained close friends until his death last year. I gave a lecture of appreciation on his work at the 20th Century Society last April. His Southwark Jubilee station, the new BBC building and Burrell’s Field in Cambridge are all masterpieces of intelligent and humane design.
    I have lived and worked in San Francisco since 1977 as an architect and urban designer working on affordable housing and urban repair. I teach part time at UC Berkeley.
    Did you work with the Milton Keynes Development Corp? if so I wonder if you know a good friend of mine the architect Peter Howard who still lives in Milton Keynes and who worked with Derek Walker from the very beginning?
    Kind regards John

  18. Helena Says:

    Dear Iqbal,
    I would very much like to be in touch regarding the use of a photograph of yours of the Barbara Hepworth Museum as part of a 50-minute film I am making about the museum and its legacy, featuring an extensive interview with the museum’s founder Sir Alan Bowness. Would you mind emailing me and I can explain more about the film (hopefully you should receive my email in your notifications)?
    With thanks, and very best wishes,
    Helena

  19. Laura Foxman Says:

    Hello Iqbal,

    Your photographs are fantastic. I am an architect and professor working on expansive history project. I would love to get you involved, to feature many of your projects as part of the project. It would be great to hear from you.

    Most sincerely,

    LF

    • winslowhub Says:

      Hello Laura , Have not heard from you for a while. I hope your project is gong well. All the best for coming new year. Iqbal

  20. Anna Says:

    Hi Iqbal – I thought you might be interested in my recent Milton Keynes installation: http://www.annaberry.co.uk/3-2/installation-pieces/fake-plastic-trees/

  21. Sophie INTI Says:

    Dear Iqbal,
    I was very lucky to find your blog. I’ m working for a think tank for urban planning, the International New Town Institute, and we were wondering if we could use your images of Coffee Hall in Milton Keynes for a student publication on MK. We would obviously mention your name in our sources.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,

    Sophie Rijnaard

    • winslowhub Says:

      Sorry Sophie, I didn’t see your comment as I was away from my computer. If it is not too late please go ahead . My apologies for the late reply once again.
      Iqbal


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