21. Waterlow Court, Hampstead Garden Suburb 1909 (M.H. Baillie Scott) London

While typologically similar to The Court Bury Fields there are significant differences in the configuration of arrival. Here the front doors are largely hidden behind a colonnade and the architectural treatment on the whole obscures individual dwellings. From the overall design strategy to massing and non-alignment of archways and front doors the emphasis is on the collective ensemble rather than individual units. The colonnade serves as a territory between the collective (symbolic) court and individual residences. Part of this language is determined by the fact that these were originally residences for single working women. The gallery is austere but the bottoms of the arched openings are sufficiently wide and low enough to provide a place to sit. Originally the gallery provided access to communal facilities. There is some formalised seating along the perimeter of the court. Entry from the street was through a lych-gate.


  • street (city) ⇒ gate (boundary) ⇒ covered path (threshold) ⇒ enter courtyard ⇒ walk around edge path ⇒ cross archway (threshold) ⇒ walk along colonnade ⇒ door (one of several)

Unit identity

  • Obscured; there is a clear intention to make the ensemble read as a collective

Digimap Waterlow Court

  • Courtyard image source unknown.
  • Gallery images from www.victorianweb.org/art/architecture/bailliescott/
  • Lych-gate and second courtyard image from  melbourneblogger.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/waterlow-court-in-hampstead-communal.html
  • Streetview courtesy of Google Maps.
  • Map courtesy of OS Digimap.


van Gameren, Dick, ‘Waterlow Court’ in Delft Architectural Studies on Housing: Living in a New Past. Rotterdam: Nai010 Publishers. 2012.

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