When I arrived in Sheffield, I lived above a pub for 3 months then in a council flat with my former partner. The council flat looked like a match box. It was surprisingly spacious yet still was very oppressive and suppressive. On the first night my bike was stolen. There were only the poor living in these council flats and the flats were making me much more depressed. I started hide inside and possible haven't talked to anybody as long as we live there which was a couple years.
TOWER BLOCKS IN ANCIENT TIMES
High-rise apartment buildings had already appeared in antiquity , in ancient Roma and in the Roman Empire, some of reached up to ten or more storeys, one reportedly having 200 stairs. Arab Egypt initial capital city, Fustat housed many high-rise residential buildings, some seven stories tall , could accommodate hundreds of people. some of them rising up to 14 storeys with roof gardens on the top storey complete with ox-drawn water wheels for irrigating them.
Tower blocks were built in the Yemeni city of Shibam in the 16th century are all made out of mud bricks, which rise five to sixteen stories high. This technique of building was implemented to protect residents from Bedouin attacks.The city has the tallest mud buildings in the world, some more than 30 meters high. Shibam has been called "one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction.
For more info : <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_blocks">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_blocks</a>
TOWER BLOCKS IN UK
The first residential tower block in UK, "The Lawn" was constructed in Harlow, Essex, in 1951. In many cases, Tower blocks are seen as a "quick fix" to cure problems caused by crumbling and unsanitary 19th century dwellings or to replace buildings destroyed by German aerial bombing. Another
Tower blocks are based on the Brutalist architectural method. Tower Blocks build with large section of reinforced concrete,(concrete slabs) and has steel frame. 1mm diameter steel mesh used to reinforced the concrete which is much lower than diameter of steel mesh used today ( 6mm or higher). They vaunted as being long-lasted if not indestructible.
It was thought that the implentation of industrialised building techniques would lower costs, as similar tower blocks would be replicated over many sites. Uniform and standardised parts, such as toilet fittings and door handles, planners deemed that buying in bulk would reduce overall costs.
Due to demanding deadlines; complicated construction practices were rushed and many tower blocks experienced structural decay as a result- roof leaked, concrete suffered "spalling", steel corroded and damp penetrated the buildings.
By replicating tower blocks across the nation, planners replicated design faults. In many tower blocks, concrete quickly exhibited signs of decay; cracks soon formed and destabilised the buildings.
To contain disruptive behaviour, local authorities began to place "problem families" in the same blocks. Tower blocks quickly became "Slums In The Sky". Social problems increased as the tower blocks degraded because of poor maintenance and an insecure communal environment.
List of Council Residential Blocks can be found at this link: <a href="http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=124076&page=22">http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=124076&page=22</a>