6. Leopold Buildings Columbia Road 1862 (Sydney Waterlow) London

1862 Model Dwellings Columbia RoadThis block is one of many examples that put the model cottage to use in larger urban blocks. In these the effect of the exposed circulation and front door relationship to the public street is made clear. Many of these buildings now have doors installed at the bottom level. While this has broken a formerly fluid link between street and circulation void the general effect remains today. In some instances more than two dwellings are accessed per landing extending the space into a minor gallery. A particular detail found in the Leopold Buildings are the steps leading up and over an area, as found in Georgian terraces.

Despite this being an example where the access to the circulation core has not been gated (is it because it is raised seven steps from the pavement?) there is a fair amount of use of the gallery space through flower boxes, chairs, drying laundry and storage.


  • street (city) ⇒ Steps up to landing ⇒ recessed void (threshold) ⇒ stair void ⇒ stair (ascend) ⇒ landing ⇒ door (one of four)

Unit identity

  • Street to door relationship is clear; unit clarity depends on number of units accessed off the gallery

Screenshot Housing Entry

  • Black & white image © Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives.
  • Colour images from http://spitalfieldslife.com/2014/11/13/notable-lost-buildings-of-columbia-rd/.
  • Street Views courtesy of Google Maps.
  • Map courtesy of OS Digimap.

See also:


Previous Entry 5. Prince Albert Model Cottage

Next entry 7. Peabody Estate 1865



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