There is a boldness to this scheme that makes it interesting, but at the same time it sets up the template for many later projects which repeat the dull lobby with long access gallery arrangement. The project is interesting in that it links the gallery access with the street rather than the courtyard – its contribution to the evolution of entry sequences. The lobby was originally extremely compressed. The intention for the courtyard, originally very plain, is unclear. It is now landscaped with some green and access given to the ground level units.
Recent entry additions have done nothing to make the entry less disconnected with the city although it was necessary to provide the lobby more space. The addition of the vertical elements along the gallery, marking out the entries to the flats, is well intended but also lessens the boldness of the original design. This probably comes down to the detailing which makes the whole exercise appear cosmetic and compositional. There doesn’t appear to be much appropriation of the gallery space which makes the more unified and contained original gallery design preferable; though this is no more than a personal preference. Though it has to be said that the overall quality of design adjustments, from the over-sailing roof to rubbish chutes to lobby, has reduced a crisp period piece into another anonymous bit of late 20th management-oriented aesthetic.
Only the north block remains from the original design.
- street (city) ⇒ building lobby door (boundary) ⇒ stair/lift lobby ⇒ stair/lift (ascend) ⇒ landing ⇒ door (boundary) ⇒ gallery around outside ⇒ door (three to four)
- (Original design) Weak; the opaque ribbon of galleries obscures any possible reading of unit demarcations or their doors.
- (Amended design) Fair; the vertical elements mark the front doors of the flats.
- Black and white images, first colour image, and plan from Municipal Dreams (http://bit.ly/2EbeeH2).
- Street Views courtesy of Google Maps.
- Map courtesy of OS Digimap.
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