The Twentieth Century Society

Listings reports

Spring 2011

Shown below are the listings reports for Spring 2011.

Added

Co-op Building (Castle House), Angel Street, Sheffield; G S Hay, (1959-64) & Hadfield Cawkwell & Davidson (1962) incorporating glass-fibre sculpture of Vulcan by Boris Tietze, Grade II

EH has listed both parts of this building, but as we suggested, has concentrated its assessment and description on the Hay building and the inter-connecting stairwell. Praising the innovative design and interior artwork and fittings, EH concluded it was a significant, high quality piece of post-war commercial architecture. Sheffield City Council has asked DCMS for a review of the decision, but no decision has yet been made on whether one will be granted. <span id=”1253729530135S”> </span>

Devon County War Memorial, Cathedral Green, Exeter, Devon; Sir Edwin Lutyens (1920), Grade II*

Listed in a group with the Jellicoe stairs at the west front, this important high grade will do much to deter the Dean from moving the memorial, which Lutyens designed to align with the west front of the cathedral.

Kingsway Health Centre, Widnes, Cheshire; Austen T Parrott (1939), Grade II

Kingsway Health Centre is now listed at Grade II as a well-preserved example of a 1930s health centre. In its assessment, English Heritage praised the Moderne style building for its striking design—which features fine Art Deco elements inside and out, including a stunning Vitrolite tiled stairway. It is also particularly noted that, designed by local architect Austen T Parrott and opened shortly before the outbreak of WWII in 1939, the building served the Widnes area as a health centre until its closure in 2006. In this connection, EH’s report specifically compares Kingsway Health Centre to Finsbury Health Centre.

The Roan School, Maze Hill, Greenwich, London; P B Dannatt & Bannister Fletcher (1926), Grade II

EH praised this Neo-Georgian school for its planning and thoughtful detailing, partly designed by the Society’s President’s great-uncle. The EH Research and Standards Dept looked at the building in the context of the current research on inter-war schools. The building is still likely to be sold by the school which is moving to a nearby site.

22 Weymouth Street, Marylebone, Westminster, London; Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and Adrian Gilbert Scott (1934), Grade II

The Society is delighted that this two-storey private house in central London—just a block away from the RIBA Headquarters—was listed by English Heritage as one of a very small and distinguished portfolio of private houses by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Exceptionally elegant and designed in a restrained classical style, the building demonstrates some superb brickwork, as is characteristic of both brothers’ architecture. (See Casework Report and Listing Report in C20 Newsletter, Winter 2008/9, pages 7 and 11.)

K8 Telephone Box, Shrub Hill Station platform, Worcester; Designed by Bruce Martin (1967), Grade II

After a two year campaign to highlight the plight of Britain’s last ‘great red box’, the first K8 kiosk has been listed by English Heritage. Praising the K8 as a significant piece of C20 industrial design and looking closely at how the rationalised box was designed by architect Bruce Martin, EH has here set a precedent for the listing of many other surviving examples of the kiosk. The Society put 15 examples forward in all and immortalised the classic design on a now highly-collectable (but still available) tea-towel .

Turned Down

Sobell Sports Centre, Isledon Road, Islington, London; (1973)

Turned down on the grounds that it is not a good or rare example of type. Coupled with that was the opinion that from preliminary design to construction, the plans altered significantly—particularly as regards the roof and the entrance arch. EH celebrated its impressive scale but concluded that ‘the architecture fails to relieve the building’s considerable bulk’.

Richmond Secondary School Darlington Road, Richmond, North Yorkshire; Denis Clarke-Hall (1957-9)

Turned down for a lack of innovation in comparison to Clarke-Hall’s earlier building on the site and later additions, including the infilling of the recessed lower floor and the addition of different material finishes. EH acknowledged Clarke-Hall’s contribution to the post-war schools programme, but concluded that in its ‘simplified layout and restricted circulation areas’ it shows the effects of post-war constraints on expenditure.

Robin Hood Gardens, Poplar, Tower Hamlets, London; Alison and Peter Smithson (1968-72)

We have now had confirmation of the DCMS decision not to list RHG. The Review Officer’s letter denied that there been any procedural errors in their previous assessment and set out point-by-point the reasons for not listing—concluding that RHG was not successful housing and consequently not a good example of housing design.

Put Forward

Blocks C, D and E, Cheltenham Estate, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London; Ernö Goldfinger (1968-75) Requested Grade II

We have put these low-rise blocks forward and have specifically asked EH for them to be included in the list description for Trellick Tower (Grade II*), thereby acknowledging the relationship between the various buildings on the estate. We have asked EH to list them before, but they were turned down in 1999. There is a significant new threat from Terry Farrell’s master plan for the site and changes to the way EH approaches post-war estates have prompted us to put them forward again.

Five Leicestershire Schools

Five Leicestershire Schools – Richmond School, Hinckley; J N Pitts, County Architects (1968-70), Eastfield School, Thurmaston; Ahrends Burton & Koralek (1966-8), Bosworth College, Desford; Gollins Melvin Ward (1967-9), Countesthorpe Coll, Countesthorpe; Farmer and Dark (1968-70), Wreake Valley College, Syston; Gollins Melvin Ward (1967-71)

The Society has forwarded these five schools as exemplars of the ‘Leicestershire Plan’. The county was pioneering in its approach to school design in the post-war period. The Plan, devised in 1957 by Director of Education, Stuart Mason, gave rise to a series of innovative schools, both at primary and secondary level. At primary level a move was made away from self-contained classrooms, towards a more open plan, with teaching areas grouped around communal areas or buildings. Richmond Primary School remains an intact example of this shift, with its circular plan form and open teaching areas. A similar shift happened in the comprehensive school building programme of the time, with open-planning according to subject and a communal area. At Countesthorpe, Bosworth and Wreake Valley, despite wide range of architectural treatments and variety of materials, the overall plan form is consistent. English Heritage will be assessing the buildings as part of a wider, thematic schools listing assessment.

Cenotaph, Southampton, Hampshire; Sir Edwin Lutyens (1920) Grade II

C20 has joined the War Memorials Trust in requesting that the monument be upgraded to II*, in recognition of its early design and part in the development of Lutyens’s series of Cenotaphs, as well as its more ornate and symbolic form.

The Gatehouse (or Founder’s Tower), St Anne’s College, Woodstock Road, Oxford; Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis (1966), turned down in 2001

An early design by HKPA, the Gatehouse is a project realised under considerable budget, site, and time limitations. The Gatehouse was perceived by Pevsner as ‘the Tudor Gate Tower re-incarnate’ and described as ‘a building of wit’. EH’s initial recommendation for listing was turned down by DCMS in 2001 and the building is now under threat of demolition. The Society has therefore put the building forward again for listing at Grade II.

2C/D Belsize Park Gardens, Camden, London; Robin Spence and Robin Webster (1978-81) Requested Grade II*

Responding to a threat of demolition of both these Miesian courtyard houses, the Society has put in a spot-listing request. Both single-storey, the open plan houses face each other across an internal courtyard and were designed by the architects as family homes for themselves. The houses to sit quietly in the surrounding streetscape, the roofline hidden from the road.

Mitcham Methodist Church, Mitcham Cricket Green, London; Edward D Mills with Ove Arup (1958-60)

The modest character of non-conformist churches often makes them a difficult case for preserving. C20 felt that this threatened church, by a leading post-war Methodist architect, had sufficient interest in its folded-slab roof design and high quality interior materials to warrant listing at Grade II.

‘Southdown’, Pre-fabricated bungalow, Kingsbridge, Devon; architect unknown (1923)

Southdown is a more or less circular (12-sided) timber bungalow which was shown at the Ideal Home Exhibition’s influential ‘Bungalow Town’ display in 1923 and later transported to its current site near the Devon coast. It was built in Cowes by S E Saunders, a firm closely linked with the early days of British aviation, using their proprietary ‘Consuta’ plywood. Although the exterior is altered it has a fine panelled interior and no other intact surviving examples are known. We have put it forward for listing at Grade II for its historical significance and innovative use of new materials.

The Spinney, 108 Westerfield Road, Ipswich; Birkin Haward (Senior), 1960 (turned down in 2003)

Recommended for listing at Grade II by the Post-War Steering Group in 2001 and indeed put forward for listing by English Heritage, The Spinney was sadly turned down by DCMS two years later, at the advice of CABE. Currently threatened by demolition, the Society submitted a new listing application in July 2009. To provide interim protection Ipswich Borough Council issued a six-month Building Preservation Notice on the building.

Slough Estates Headquarters, 234 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire; Geoffrey Salmon Speed Associates (1975)

Once the showpiece of the Slough estate, the building has slowly been cleared of its workforce. C20 fears that this striking Brutalist design, finished in high quality Derbyshire Spa stone, is set to be demolished to make way for a new headquarters.

Mount Royal Hotel (now Thistle Marble Arch), Bryanston Street, London W1; Francis Lorne of Sir Burnet, Tait & Lorne (1932-3)

Included in the Society’s London tour organised as part of ‘The Monumental Twenties’ conference in November 2008, the Mount Royal Hotel is an early project by this significant architectural practice, designed soon after Francis Lorne joined Sir John James Burnet and Thomas Smith Tait, and a unique contribution to the particularly rich streetscape of Oxford Street. The Society has put it forward for listing at Grade II.

Barbara Jones Mural at former Yewlands School, Creswick Lane, Sheffield; Barbara Jones (1959)

The Society has requested that EH lists this important mural at Grade II, the last surviving public work by Barbara Jones, who produced important murals for the Britain Can Make It Exhibition (1946) and the Festival of Britain (1951). Perhaps more famously, she designed all the artwork for BBC TV’s The Woodentops—a children’s programme from the 1950s. The mural, depicting a man surrounded by a variety of brightly painted animals, including zebras and penguins, is under serious threat. The school (by Basil Spence,) is being demolished and the Society hopes that listing will allow the mural to be part of the new school which is being built on the site.

Supported

Hilda Besse Building, St. Antony’s College, Woodstock Road, Oxford; Howell, Killick, Partridge & Ami, (1966-71)

Completed in 1971, following the erection of the Gatehouse for St Anne’s College, the Hilda Besse building is a well-balanced composition, detailed and executed at high standards. Its designs repeat the bolstered heads of the columns and ‘mediaeval feel’ theme used in The Gatehouse and, in this way, demonstrates a clear line of continuity between separate projects by HKPA. Innovative elements include the ingenious breaking up of the apparent symmetry of the building both on plan and on elevation and an experimental approach to concrete design. The building was put forward for listing by a local resident in September 2008. The Society has written to EH and supported the proposed listing.

Hudson Beare Lecture Theatre, Department of Engineering, Edinburgh University King’s Buildings, Mayfield Road, City of Edinburgh; Robert Gardner-Medwin in association with Stephenson, Young and Partners (1961)

Completed as part of a larger scheme for the extension of the Department of Engineering, the Hudson Beare Lecture Theatre is by far the most original part of this 1960s extension. Its bold form—a detached, fully enclosed concrete box—clearly expresses both the function and the structure of the building and demonstrates a skilful choice of finishing details. Despite several significant differences between the two schemes, the building calls for an interesting comparison to Gillespie Kidd and Coia’s Teaching Block or Category A listed St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross, opened six years later in April 1967. The Society supported the proposed listing of the lecture theatre by Historic Scotland at Category B.

Other Listings

Coventry Retail Market

GII: A market hall built in 1957 to designs by Coventry City Architects’ Department.  The market consists of a series of concrete arches joined by a ring beam, all left exposed, with brick infilling and a concrete roof.

Sandhurst Block and Officers’ Mess and Stables at Boulon Barracks, Hipswell, N Yorks

GII: 1938 by the Designs Branch of the War Office, red brick, laid in stretcher bond with Portland stone dressings and Westmoreland slate roofs.

Officers’ Mess and Stables, Gaza Barracks, Hipswell, N Yorks.

GII: 1938, red brick in neo-Georgian style.

Administration Block at St Lukes’ Hosptial, Muswell Hill, London

GII: built 1928-30, designed by TA  Pole, FRIBA.  Built of red brick with stone dressings and a hipped tile roof.

Brockley Primary School, Old Bolsover, Derbyshire

GII: former Elementary School of red brick with Welsh slate and plain tile roof coverings, with attached railings, gate piers and gates.  1927 with later minor alterations and additions.  Designed by George Widdows, architect to Derbyshire’s Education Committee from 1904 and Chief Architect to Derbyshire County Council 1910-36.

Little Chapel, Rodborough, Glos.

GII: chapel with meeting room under, formerly a coach house and stables, built in 1836 and converted to a chapel in 1925 by Sidney Barnsley.  Extended in 1936 by Peter Waals, with stained glass by Henry Payne, Edward Payne and Whitefriars.

Sparsholt Manor and associated garden buildings and features, Sparsholt, Hants

GII: Country house, 1922-3, influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement and the Domestic Revival style.  Designed by Harry Inigo Triggs and Gerald Unsworth.  Red brick in Flemish bond, tile roofs, tile-hanging, leaded casements.

Springfield Junior School, Swadlincote, Derbyshire

GII: 1936 with late c20 alterations.  Designed by George Widdows in red brick with plain coverings to deep hipped roofs and roof dormers.

Bata Industrial Building No. 12, East Tilbury, Essex

GII: designed by FL Gahura and V Karfik for the Bata Shoe Company of Zlin in the International Modern Movement style.  A single storey building (1933), of welded steel columns and roof trusses with reinforced concrete walls and Crittall windows.

Victory House and Nelson House (Bata Industrial Buildings no 24 and 34), East Tilbury, Essex

GII: also by Gahura and Karfik and built between 1934 and 1938.  Both are five storey blocks with reinforced concrete frames and columns in modules of 6.15m on a system evolved by Gahura and builder/engineer Arnost Sehdel in 1927 for the Bata factory in Zlin.

The Pavilion, Dawlish, Devon

GII: small sports pavilion opened in 1935 by the Astlolant Company of Guildford.  Constructed of concrete with flat roof and metal framed windows.

Lewisham Bridge Primary School, London

GII: Designed 1912 and built 1914 by the LCC Architects’ Dept.  Stock brick with mainly timber sash windows, hipped tiled roofs and brick chimney stacks in an Arts and Crafts style.

Catholic Church of Christ the King, Plymouth, Devon

GII: Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and constructed posthumously by his office in 1961-2.  Simplified gothic style with Italianate influences.

Bolingbroke Hospital, Wandsworth Common, London

GII: built in phases between 1901 and 1936 by Young and Hall.  Red brick with stone dressings and tiled roofs.

No fewer than thirty one K2 or K6 telephone boxes in England have been listed at GII

This is a record number in any three month period thus far.

War memorials at Barnack, Cambs and Pendle, Lancs have been listed at GII

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