Nigel Henderson. Untitled, from Chisenhale Road Series. 1951
In 1953 architects Peter and Alison Smithson collaborated with photographer Nigel Henderson on this influential visual statement of their new approach to urban planning. As seen in this mapping of urban experience—from house to street, and district to city—it is children at play who embody the Smithsons’ guiding principle of social connectivity that underpins the concept of a “cluster city”. The Smithsons were critical of the prevailing modernist orthodoxy of the rational, zoned city; instead they searched for new architectural equivalents to the more intuitive unfolding of spatial relationships that they observed in children’s play. Their approach brought them together with Aldo van Eyck and other dissenting architects within CIAM.
[Via MoMA, CIAM photo added from the NAi collection]