Golden Lane Estate 1958-62 (Chamberlin Powell and Bon) London

Golden Lane, like Churchill Gardens, has a variety of different entry sequences. At Golden Lane there is a more conscious attempt to incorporate different housing types (slab, tower, maisonettes, flats, etc.). Part of the entry sequence to most blocks is dependent on the composition of the whole; for example, the framing of the approach to Great Arthur House from Goswell Road. In addition many sequences include complex routes and thresholds leading from the street through interior courtyard territories. Like the Bourne Estate, entry sequences include movement from the space of the city into a distinct and separate precinct. At Golden Lane, however, there is a greater fluctuation in the scale of spaces traversed. This exposes some of the limitations of Churchill Gardens which generally has similarly scaled spaces between blocks and more abrupt transitions from exterior spaces into vertical circulation cores. In this sense Churchill Gardens has a somewhat traditional street-block pattern in terms of the way inhabitants move from the urban realm into the space of a residential block (typologically different, but similar in relationship to a Haussmanian block to its Parisian street). The spaces of Golden Lane are more distinctly different and separate from the surrounding street-block pattern and produces very particular internal exterior territories (which are not all successful to the same extent). 

Crescent House contains a unique access gallery which runs a narrow ‘court’. Because this part of Crescent House is raised off the ground, the court does not touch the ground, and together with the secured vertical access ‘pods’ makes the galleries secure. This has led to energetic use of the gallery spaces as evidenced by Lucy Johnston’s photographs. Elsewhere, all the roughly east-west oriented blocks employ paired entries, both on the ground and off galleries, that are marked by vertical brick piers (see last Street View image below). And though not strictly an arrival sequence in terms of relating to a unit’s front door, the resolution of the access to the lawns and courts in front of these same blocks demonstrate an interest in creating shared spaces and links between neighbouring units. This theme runs throughout the estate, developed and executed in a variety of ways.

Schema

  • varies; some gallery access (around a shallow court); straightforward stair cores; opening relating perimeter streets to interior courts.

Unit identity

  • Generally good; expressed cross walls, setbacks, material changes and window patterns allow units to be easily identifiable in most blocks.

Digimap Golden Lane 2

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