29. Lennox House 1937 (J.E.M. MacGregor) London

A largely unknown block, this is likely the first stepped section housing project in London. The void in the centre was originally intended to house a market but has been mostly used for storage. Although the stepped section and generous balconies are notable the entry sequence is also inventive. Access is along alleys on either side of the building and then up flights of stairs set in a recess between flats stepping back as it rises. The stairs run lengthwise along the building as they step back leading onto generous landings apart from the last floor which has a flight of stairs running perpendicular into the building volume.

Not only does the general building concept pre-figure that of the Brunswick Centre (included a reinforced concrete structural frame), but its circulation with its front doors directly related to the street pre-figures the circulation solution developed at Alexandra Road by Neave Brown. Though it should be made clear that there is no evidence that this project was known to either Hodgkinson or Brown. Similarly, although the Heritage Statement of 2012 notes the similarity of Lennox House (and hence importance of this block) to Henri Sauvage’s  Rue de Amiraux project in Paris there is no evidence MacGregor was aware of this project.

An article from Architect and Building News from 12 June 1942 notes that the flower boxes were well kept and additional planters added by residents suggesting that the building was well-liked by its inhabitants.

The block at the rear of the site has a more traditional open stair setup running perpendicular into the building and is in effect a separate block from the Cresset Road building.


  • street (city) ⇒ gate (boundary) ⇒ alley ⇒ building setback (threshold) ⇒ stair (ascend) ⇒ landing ⇒ door (one of two)

Unit identity

  • Fair to good; the entry sequence breaks down the overall number of units into two side each split into two circulation cores. Each landing is unique and the setback schema and overall scale makes each unit identifiable.

Digimap Lennox House

  • Colour photographs courtesy of Ninos Merza
  • Magazine images from Architect and Building News, 12 June 1942
  • Drawings by Ninos Merza
  • Map courtesy of OS Digimap


Previous Entry 28. Comber Grove Estate

Next Entry 30. John Scurr House



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