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Span: A History of London’s Iconic Homes (1953-1983)

June 22, 2017 - June 22, 2019


Span: A History of London’s Iconic Homes (1953-1983)

“There is a tendency to contain the architect, guide him, control him, make sure he doesn’t make a mistake… one of my obsessions is that bumps matter. Like porridge, bumps are good for you. They are the sign of man whereas flatness is the sign of machine.” – Eric Lyons

Over two years, Chocolate Films Workshops will make 16 documentaries about London’s iconic Span homes. Are you passionate about architecture, film or heritage? Keep on reading, we are offering a great opportunity to university students to volunteer on this project.

Since Span architect Eric Lyons built his first development of socially minded houses in 1953, Span made homes for over 2000 families. Built to create communities with affordable housing in post war London, each estate was built with an emphasis on green open spaces for families to enjoy. Span estates are now populated with a diverse community of elderly residents who are the first occupants from 1953 onwards. With a history reaching over 60 years, the heritage of how these communities live is in danger of disappearing.

With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), MayDay Rooms, Middlesex University and the University of Westminster, Chocolate Films Workshops will produce a series of short documentaries about the SPAN homes that still exist. This exciting two-year project also includes delving into the Span archives – at RIBA as well as collecting residents’ personal archives – and setting up local exhibitions and film screenings.

Do you want to gain practical skills filming and photographing on DSLR cameras? Would you like to uncover oral histories of the fascinating Londoners living in SPAN homes? Are you excited to delve into iconic architectural archive?

Please get in touch with Sinéad on 020 7793 4287 or email workshops@chocolatefilms.com with your CV and cover letter. Travel and subsistence for volunteers on this project will be covered. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask!


June 22, 2017
June 22, 2019


Chocolate Films Workshops
020 7793 4287