32. Palace Gate 1939 (Wells Coates) London

The gallery access in this block is integrated into the volume of the façade. There are two parallel routes; an interior corridor and an open gallery visible on the façade. This double parallel access system was first used in Ginzburg’s Narkomfin building from 1932 (Moscow). The lift lobby provides direct access to the corridor but not the gallery (you have to use a door to access it). There are only three galleries due to the complex 2-storey-flat section. A formal lobby sits under the projected block of one bedroom units. The flats in the middle of the long block (2 of 8 per floor) can also be accessed from the lower level. The projecting one-bedroom units are access by going around and behind the lift and going up or down a half-level. These stairs are glazed and provide a visual connection to the exterior. It’s a complex setup with potential for variable individual routines but without much sense of collectivity.

Schemas

  • street (city) ⇒ gap in wall (threshold) ⇒ car access ⇒ door (boundary) ⇒ lobby (wait) ⇒ lift (ascend) ⇒ landing ⇒ corridor ⇒ door (8 per floor)
  • street (city) ⇒ gap in wall (threshold) ⇒ car access ⇒ door (boundary) ⇒ lobby (wait) ⇒ lift (ascend) ⇒ landing ⇒ door (boundary) ⇒ gallery ⇒ door (boundary) ⇒ corridor ⇒ door (8 per floor)
  • street (city) ⇒ gap in wall (threshold) ⇒ car access ⇒ door (boundary) ⇒ lobby (wait) ⇒ lift (ascend) ⇒ landing ⇒ stair to one bedroom flats (ascend or descend along glazed exterior wall) ⇒ door

Unit identity

  • Weak; the emphasis is on the block as a whole.

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