The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Click to see full size Photo © Stuart Tappin
Saturday market. Photo © Stuart Tappin
Concrete A-frame. Photo © Susannah Charlton

100 Buildings 100 Years

2006: Brunswick Centre, London

Status: Listed Grade II
Type: Housing
Architect: Patrick Hodgkinson, refurbished by Levitt Bernstein Associates
Location: Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1NX

Plans for the Brunswick Centre began as a 40-storey office block in 1959. As reconfigured from 1961 onwards it pioneered low-rise, high-density, mixed-use development. After many iterations, the built scheme comprised 560 flats, shops, restaurants, the Renoir cinema, a health centre and small offices. Camden acquired the lease of the flats, which remain predominantly social and sheltered housing, with some private leaseholds.

Flats are well laid out and full of light; each has a living room with a glazed wall opening onto a balcony, and a kitchen with breakfast bar. The reinforced concrete A-frames inside the two residential blocks create dramatic cathedral-like views: my daily pleasure.

By the 1990s, it was run down and the concrete badly weathered. Allied London redeveloped it to plans by Levitt Bernstein and Hodgkinson, closing the north end with a new supermarket and painting the exterior, as originally intended. Completed in 2006, it now has the fashionable shops, cafes and Saturday market Hodgkinson always wanted.

by Susannah Charlton

Listing description

C20 Building of the Month


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