A programme of art, architecture and infrastructure to mark the centenary of the UK’s biggest council housing estate

Leonor Antunes

Becontree Plaques

Estate-wide

Artist Leonor Antunes will create new Becontree commemorative plaques which will be installed on private houses and public buildings to celebrate significant residents and visitors to the estate throughout its history. The artist will produce a series of plaques that weave a dynamic pattern across the estate and in collaboration with design studio, A Practice for Everyday Life, conceived a Becontree specific font. The plaques are inspired by the geometric shapes found on old maps of the housing estate, while referencing its importance in terms of town planning and architecture through having an explicit connection to designs made by British architect Jane Drew (1911–1996).

Although little known, Jane was central to the team of architects that devised the modernist dream city of Chandigarh, India, built in the 1950–60s and is known for designing social housing outside of the UK, as well as the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (1964). As with Leonor, Jane made a concerted effort to foreground female architects in a male-orientated industry.

Nominations for your Becontree Hero

Accompanying the plaques, Create London launched an extensive estate-wide nominations process, that sought out a diverse range of residents that have played an important role within their communities, inspirational figures in addition to the well-known characters that have all played their part in Becontree’s rich history.

Residents were given the opportunity to nominate their Becontree Hero and explain why they felt they deserved to be commemorated with a Becontree Plaque. Nominations closed Wednesday 7th April.

The final selection of names will be chosen by the Becontree Plaques Community Panel.

Leonor Antunes has exhibited widely and represented Portugal at the Venice Art Biennale (2019). Engaging with the history of 20th century architecture, design, and art, Leonor reflects on the function of everyday objects and the potential of modernist forms to become sculptures. She investigates the coded values and flow of ideas embedded within objects and transforms them into reimagined abstract structures.

Co-commissioned by Create London and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Funded by LBBD’s Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy.