The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Front facade
Result of leaks
Exterior close-up

91 Genesta Road – stop the rot!

We were shocked to see these images of 91 Genesta Road, one of a terrace of four houses by Lubetkin in a south London street and listed at Grade II *. We were very pleased however that the London Borough of Greenwich has come to us for advice on schedules of urgent works and repairs to the building to compel the owners to take action. We are confident that the building can have a fabulous future if work is taken to repair it now.

These images show the result of long term roof leaks and blocked guttering which all demand urgent work. Repairs are also required to cut back and treat plant growth in the external masonry, repair the reinforced concrete facade, renew the paintwork and overhaul all repairable windows. Internally, all the floor panels and plaster damaged by damp require replacement, as well as the restoration of the bathroom fixtures and tiles.

91 Genesta Road makes up one of a terrace of four houses (Nos 85-91) designed in 1933-4 by Berthold Lubetkin. The three storey houses, built in reinforced concrete with a flat roof, are a very distinctive and classic Lubetkin design, and comprise the only completed terrace in England built in the modern idiom during the 1930s. Most houses retain their original Crittall metal doors, and all the windows to the front have the original Crittall metal frames. This particular house is noted within English Heritage’s listing description as having the most complete interior of all the terrace.

Lubetkin was an emigre architect from the Soviet Union who settled in Britain in late 1931. This is his first building here, and reveals many of the design details which were to appear in his later and better-known public commissions. Lubetkin himself designed only two other private houses, both in Whipsnade and including one for himself. Other famous work by the architect includes Grade I listed Finsbury Health Centre (1935-1938), Highpoint I (1933-5) in Highgate, a large scale residential development in north London, also Grade I listed; and various listed enclosures in London and Dudley Zoos.


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