International Women’s Day 2024 at Dawson’s Heights

For International Women’s Day this year, RCKa came together to celebrate the work of pioneering architect, Kate Macintosh, visiting her iconic social housing scheme Dawson’s Heights. Located in South London, the postwar housing estate was completed between 1964 and 1972. Previously working under Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre team, Macintosh moved to Southwark Council in 1965 where she was invited to enter an internal competition to design a social housing scheme containing 300 dwellings. Aged 27, Macintosh’s striking response was successful, flats of different sizes assembled and placed across two main spines, forming the distinctive 12-storey Ziggurat profile. Re-imagining ‘Streets in the Sky’, elevated walkways were designed to recreate common street patterns, maximising circulation and enhancing social interaction outside of the home.


We decided to lead a collaborative tour, sharing our own knowledge, stories and anecdotes, as well as reflecting on the impact of the housing project 50 years after completion. We were lucky enough to step inside and speak to resident James, who kindly showed us around his lovely, split-level flat and onto the upper levels of the blocks.

Our in-house graphic designer, Eden, designed a bespoke booklet, providing a brief history of Macintosh’s early career, alongside research supporting the architect’s passion for quality social housing. The use of orange throughout is used to visually indicate moments of Macintosh’s speech and was inspired by her iconic orange scarf worn in a 2021 article provided for the Architectural Review.

IWD Booklet

Project list