Glasgow's Red Road tower block housing complex was constructed by the Glasgow Housing Associating (GHA) between 1964 and 1969, with the intention of providing a modern housing community for a whopping 5000 residents.
Under the leadership of architect Sam Bunton, the simple housing blocks were built up to 25 and 31 stories high — the tallest residential housing structures in Europe, measuring 89m.
Initially, Red Road was a seeming success: a modern live/work community with shops and pubs, and even an immense underground bingo hall(?!). By the depression of 1970s, the housing community was in a dire state. Anti-social crime, vandalism and frequent burglaries, picked up — echoing the the nearby low-rise Blackhill housing community that was plagued by ruthless crime gangs.
At this point, it was also discovered asbestos — used in large amounts to ensure the structural integrity of the buildings' steel frames — is a significant health hazard. But because of its integral role in the buildings' structure, it could not be removed until the building were demolished — and even then, safe removal would be tricky to maneuver.
Once symbolic of hope and prosperity, Red Road transitioned into a dumping ground of poverty, alienation, and crime.
Google Earth captured this video of the demolotion of one of the Red Road towers, Monday at 12:45pm. It took nearly 275 kilos of explosives to bring down the first Red Road tower block this past weekend, reports Arch Daily, "marking the beginning of a controlled demolition process that will completely remove the infamous residential complex from the Glasgow skyline by 2017." [ArchDaily]