Bevin at the BBC

We recently had a visit to Bevin court by Elain Harwood from Heritage England. Elain has been a fan of Bevin Court for years and has included it in her numerous books.

We were lucky enough to be able to explore Bevin Court with Elain for an afternoon with her film crew. This is what they produced these shorts about the BT Tower and Bevin Court.

Take a look at the BBC’s The concrete truth? Brutalism can be beautiful and find out what Elain thinks of Bevin Court.


Utopia London

Bevin Court resident, Tom Cordell, has a passion for London’s architecture. In 2012 he directed Utopia London, a feature length documentary that explores London’s recent architectural history.

The film observes the method and practise of the Modernist architects who rebuilt London after World War Two. It shows how they revolutionised life in the city in the wake of destruction from war and the poor living conditions inherited from the Industrial Revolution.

Watch this section of Utopia London and learn even more out about brilliant Bevin Court.

You can find out more about the film and when screenings of the movie will be taking place by visiting

Bevin Through the Lens

In August 2015 the Bevin Court Restoration Project went on film. Over three days 10-12 August 11 students came together to explore Bevin Court through art. They learnt all about the sites significance and produced a brilliant exhibition of artworks inspired by this heritage.

Six of these students were interviewed to join us on a two week film making course with Cubitt artist  Ella Medley-Whitfield. Their schedule was tight, but they managed to:

  • visit the Clerks’ Well
  • go on a guided walk to explore the area of Finsbury
  • get an introduction to Archives and Museums by Mark Aston
  • use the archive and museum to research their films
  • visit Unite the Union to interview the Chief of Staff, Andrew Murray
  • visit Imakr studio on Clerkenwell Rd to get a clued up on 3D printing.
  • interviewed John Allan, Lubetkin’s biographer
  • interview Tom Organ, the lead conservator on the mural restoration.
  • and interview loads of Bevin court’s residents

They then hit the editing room and composed six amazing short films. We had a film screening of their works at Islington Museum on the evening of 27 August. The films the produced knocked our socks off, you can see the videos they created here!

You can also watch Ella Medley-Whitfield’s documentary looking at the wider project.

Adila Nasrin

Bryan Francis Harrera

Keva Oscar 

Mitul Depala

Rahim Ali

Sophia Oscar


Bevin Court: an exploration of place

An exploration of place by: Adila Nasrin,  Alvin Tampon, Bryan Francis Herrera, Dana Bell, Joshua Louis, Kaiira Ologunro, Keva Oscar, Mahla Nasrollahi, Mitul Depala, Rahim Ali & Sophia Oscar


As part of the HLF funded Bevin Court community Restoration project, on the 10, 11 & 12 August  twelve young  artists took part in our Bevin Court inspired workshops with artist Ella Medley-Whitfield. The teams spent three days visiting Lubetkin’s Bevin Court, learning about the architecture and the  history behind the structure, creatively engaging with  the community who live there.

In response to their interaction with the physical space of the building, the group created some amazing artworks through the mediums of drawing, sculpture, photography, audio tours, soundscapes and printing.

They looked at loads of styles of interpretation including: Window Tower, Map Collage and Lino Printing, Audio Tours and Soundscape, Building Bevin Sculptures,  Drawing and sculptural pieces and Windowsill portraits.

We launched an exhibition of their works at Islington Museum on the 13 August. The exhibition is on display at Islington Museum until the end of August 2015. Take a look at the gallery and be inspired to get creative.

Every Time I Think of You

The Blueprint Theatre Company’s film Every Time I Think of You is a film about 80s Islington, based on interviews with Islington residents and the traders of Chapel Market.

The film centres on an urban myth, perpetuated by locals, and harks back to a comparatively innocent era – before mobile phones and the Internet changed our lives forever. The film is one of many that feature Bevin Court and its residents.

Cyril Mann gets an Islington People’s Plaque


Cyril’s widow Renske on Bevin Courts famous stair case

On 28 September 2013 a very special Islington People’s Plaque was unveiled commemorating Cyril Mann

After serving in the Second World War as a gunner, Cyril and his first wife lived in a council flat in Paul Street, near City Road. The flat proved to be the worst possible base for an artist. It received no natural light, forcing Cyril to paint in artificial light. For three years he concentrated on shadow formations, doing small, formalized still-life paintings with a strong use of line and colour. During this period, he painted some iconic images of post-war Finsbury and Islington, including sunlight on Finsbury Square, trolley buses near the Angel, and a luminescent Chiswell Street, all providing rare sparks of colour in a grim world. After teaching at the LCC Central School of Art, Cyril was appointed lecturer at Kingsway Day College and Sir John Cass College, specialising in the ‘Technology of Painting’, in 1950.


Cyril Mann’s widow Renske, his daughter Amanda and biographer John Russell Taylor in front of Bevin Court

In 1956, the artist moved to a small one-bedroom flat on the seventh floor of Bevin Court in Cruikshank Street, Finsbury (now Islington). Life took a turn for the better when he married Renske van Slooten in 1960 – she also became his model and muse. At this time, Mann gave up lecturing to concentrate on painting full time. Flooded with light, Bevin Court allowed Mann to explore the dynamic effects of sunlight and shadows in a different way from previous artists. He was fascinated – to the point of obsession – by fierce, dazzling sunlight bouncing off surfaces in constant movement.

Cyril and Renske left Bevin Court in 1964, moving to Walthamstow and then Leyton in East London. Throughout the 1960s, and into the following decade, the artist presented his work in a series of successful exhibitions and one-man shows. Suffering severe health problems in the late-1970s, Cyril Mann died in 1980 in his 69th year.

This video of the unveiling of the plaque is from the Piano Nobile Gallery where you can find out even more about Cyril Mann and his works.