The Golden Lane Estate was the first significant development in a huge area stretching from London Wall to Old Street that had been destroyed by wartime bombing. In 1951, Peter Chamberlin, Geoffry Powell and Christoph Bon were all teaching at Kingston Polytechnic when they separately entered the design competition for Golden Lane. They had agreed that should one of them win, the three of them would form a partnership to deliver the project. Geoffry Powell's entry won the competition in 1952. The first parts of the estate were completed in 1957 and the later additions were finished in 1962.
The purpose of the estate was to provide council housing at subsidised rents for people who worked in the city.
The estate is significant not just for the buildings themselves, but for the way they are arranged and how other facilities are integrated. The estate also includes a swimming pool, tennis court, nursery school and community centre.